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Old 3rd January 2011, 01:26 PM   #161
Squeegee Beckenheim
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
The hotel had bad internet which rarely worked at all. Cell phones didn't work anywhere - not in the hotel, or at the shoot site. You could occasionally get a signal when in the car travelling in between.
But presumably it has a land line or two and Oliver has an office he can phone and ask to look things up for him.

Quote:
My web site, if you dig around, has information on my uncle. You have to at least sort of know what you're looking for, or wade through around a hundred articles.
No you don't. All you need to do is a google domain search for the word "uncle".

[Edit]And having a quick poke around your site reveals that my screenname is neither as clever nor as original as I thought it was. Sest luvvie.[/edit]

Quote:
On the day that I told Oliver I wanted a reading, I did it from the actual shooting location. We did not, thereafter, leave that location - meaning that there was no cell service or internet from the time I asked until the time he gave the reading.
The make-up girl had almost certainly told him and he'd already done his research.

Quote:
Now what would be really interesting is if I could come up with the answers to those unverifiables, and determine if they were correct. If they were, I may have to reassess my belief structure.
Why? None of the unverifiables are really that impressive:

Quote:
5) Oliver said that my uncle had tattoos.
If he was in the Navy, then him having tattoos is quite likely, even from back when they were frowned upon and not nearly as common or accepted as they are now.

Quote:
6) Oliver said my uncle had gastrointestinal issues.
A very, very common ailment. Vaguely worded, too.

Quote:
9) Oliver said that my uncle is dead.
Anyone who's been missing for a number of years, it's a fair bet that they're dead.

Quote:
10) Oliver said that the body is in the woods.
As has been said in this thread, that's one of the most likely places for it to be.

Quote:
11) Oliver said that my uncle shot himself.
Again, suicide for someone who's gone missing isn't unusual. Self-inflicted gun wounds are a common form of suicide in America.

If you could verify all of them and they were all true, then I agree that it would be a little more unlikely to be a mundane explanation, but it's not like it would actually be unlikely. Just a few good guesses. I probably wouldn't have guessed suicide (although I might have done), but I'd definitely have guessed the rest if I were trying to impress you.

Last edited by Squeegee Beckenheim; 3rd January 2011 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 01:34 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by Sceptic Tank View Post
But presumably it has a land line or two and Oliver has an office he can phone and ask to look things up for him.



No you don't. All you need to do is a google domain search for the word "uncle".

[Edit]And having a quick poke around your site reveals that my screenname is neither as clever nor as original as I thought it was. Sest luvvie.[/edit]



The make-up girl had almost certainly told him and he'd already done his research.



Why? None of the unverifiables are really that impressive:



If he was in the Navy, then him having tattoos is quite likely, even from back when they were frowned upon and not nearly as common or accepted as they are now.



A very, very common ailment. Vaguely worded, too.



Anyone who's been missing for a number of years, it's a fair bet that they're dead.



As has been said in this thread, that's one of the most likely places for it to be.



Again, suicide for someone who's gone missing isn't unusual. Self-inflicted gun wounds are a common form of suicide in America.

If you could verify all of them and they were all true, then I agree that it would be a little more unlikely to be a mundane explanation, but it's not like it would actually be unlikely. Just a few good guesses. I probably wouldn't have guessed suicide (although I might have done), but I'd definitely have guessed the rest if I were trying to impress you.
I'm still feeling rather bemused.

I didn't say that these were unlikely scenarios. I didn't say I thought he achieved the information through paranormal means. In fact, much of the response to this thread seems to have taken an odd turn wherein I am the believer.

So, I'm not sure what else I can say in response to posts that seem to make it that way. You have my credentials, you have my statements about what I am attempting to accomplish. I will, from this point forward, attempt to only respond to people who have read the thread and see what I'm saying/doing. Constantly defending myself by flashing my Real Live Skeptic card is becoming tiresome.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 01:41 PM   #163
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Quote:
Real Live Skeptic card
They HAVE those?!?

ETA: Probably new, skimmed the thread, and don't know you. Furthermore, probably also scanned some of this subforum and assumed that if you aren't referring to psychics in highly insulting manner or Odin forbid, trying to be impartial and fair towards something, that you aren't a True SkepticTM.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 01:46 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
I'm still feeling rather bemused.

I didn't say that these were unlikely scenarios. I didn't say I thought he achieved the information through paranormal means. In fact, much of the response to this thread seems to have taken an odd turn wherein I am the believer.

So, I'm not sure what else I can say in response to posts that seem to make it that way. You have my credentials, you have my statements about what I am attempting to accomplish. I will, from this point forward, attempt to only respond to people who have read the thread and see what I'm saying/doing. Constantly defending myself by flashing my Real Live Skeptic card is becoming tiresome.
Now I'm feeling rather bemused as to what in my post (or any of my posts) you thought was implying that, let alone what you think I said that you feel like you have to defend yourself from. I thought you were asking for suggestions for mechanisms as to how these feats were accomplished. That's what I've tried to provide. No more, no less.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 03:18 PM   #165
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He pointed toward the table behind me, where Liam was sitting, and said that he was getting the name 'Joshua'. I am again using a fake name of the same level of popularity. And I don't mean that he said he was getting a 'j' or the name 'Josh' or the feeling of a male presence. I mean that John Edward pointed at the table where Liam was sitting and said he was getting the name Joshua.

So Liam stood up. One of the ushers brought him a microphone so that he could communicate with Edward. Edward again said that he had gotten the name 'Joshua', and then said that there was something weird about it, because he had the sensation that the name was LIAM's. Then Edward paused for a moment. Liam had not said anything at this time. Edward said that, though Liam's name was Joshua, he had not introduced himself that way to the rest of his table. Edward then asked Joshua to hand the microphone over to someone else at the table, and then asked that person what Joshua had introduced himself as. The person said, "Liam."

Edward then asked Joshua to take out his driver's license and show it to everyone else at the table. The driver's license said that his name was Joshua Liam Smith.
Does it strike anybody else how staged this sounds? It is like a magician's act.

First he says that he has the sensation that Joshua is his name.

Then he asks him to hand the microphone to the others on table to ask how he has introduced himself

Then he asks him to take out his driver's licence and show it to everyone.

There might be many reasons why someone would be known by another name. He might have changed his name by deed poll, or he might write under a pseudonymn for some newsletter, or it might be something that close friends call him.

But he doesn't say (as is his usual style) something like "can you explain that?", or "do you also go by that name?", or "is that your middle name?".

He goes straight for the driver's licence.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 03:39 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
He goes straight for the driver's licence.

Precisely. I think going straight for the license is the key to this one. Someone, whether at Liam's table or around Liam at some point prior to or during the show, saw his license long enough to read his full name.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 04:01 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by Robert Oz View Post
Precisely. I think going straight for the license is the key to this one. Someone, whether at Liam's table or around Liam at some point prior to or during the show, saw his license long enough to read his full name.
Obviously RemieV picked Liam’s pocket while they were chatting in the queue and secretly gave the information to her secret lover John Edward. Why do you think she goes to so many of his shows? There’s also a “thing” going on with John Oliver in the back seat of dark cars as well. Seems to be a “John” fetish. Sorry about that Scrut.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 04:11 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
Constantly defending myself by flashing my Real Live Skeptic card is becoming tiresome.
At least you have one! Pity those who don't and post here looking for rational explanations.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 04:18 PM   #169
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We went inside, and Liam took his seat, and I took mine. I could see him from where I was sitting if I turned around. I should add - I was attending the show under a false name, and I was costumed in such a way that I was not recognizable as me. I had a fake backstory that I responded with any time anyone asked me what brought me to the show.
What this tells me is that "Emily" was asked more than once for her fake backstory.

So presumably it is not unlikely that Liam (and others in the audience) were asked for their real backstory.

It is likely that most of the audience gave real names. We know that at least one member of the audience was able to quite easily make a secret recording of the proceedings.

So backstage are his researchers working away on the internet armed with this information and whatever information sources are available (such as mailing lists sold).

Possibly they have at least one camera pointed at the audience.

The audience have been asked by minglers where they are from and what brought them here and they go through all this information either drawing blanks or finding nothing useful.

But they find something about a Liam from this guy's home town that could be him - but could this Liam be the Joshua Liam they have found out about.

So Edwards stands in front of the table and says "Joshua" and Liam stands up. Bingo!

So this may not be the way it happened - it could be that someone saw his driver's licence, and there has been no reason given why he could not be a plant. Why should a plant not be from out of town? Why would a plant not use their real name? Why wouldn't a plant buy a ticket with cash and say that they attended on the spur of the moment?

Or it could be that Edwards, on the spur of the moment tried out the name "Joshua" to a particular section of the audience and that when Liam stood up and gave his name there might have been a slight hesitation in the way that he answered that suggested to Edwards that he might also go by the name Joshua. His subsequent reactions might have added to this suspicion.

A risk, then, to ask for his driver's licence but we don't know how often some stunt like this has fallen flat in the past.

And it could be something we haven't thought of yet - that is the way most good tricks work. The levitating lady looks great, but you slap your face and say "why didn't I think of that - it is so obvious" when you find out how it is done.

The point is there are a number of ways this scenario could have come about without resorting to the explanation of psychic powers.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 05:50 PM   #170
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Originally Posted by Robert Oz View Post
Precisely. I think going straight for the license is the key to this one. Someone, whether at Liam's table or around Liam at some point prior to or during the show, saw his license long enough to read his full name.
I think the bar scenario (or something similar) is far more likely. Who pulls their license out? I do at the airport, and did about 2 months ago on the side of the highway (damn cop), but other than that, my license probably only leaves my pocket less than 10 times a year. Remember, even if he had his wallet open at some point, like when checking in, the person looking over his shoulder would first have to know that he was going to the show at some point in the future.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 05:54 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Obviously RemieV picked Liam’s pocket while they were chatting in the queue and secretly gave the information to her secret lover John Edward. Why do you think she goes to so many of his shows? There’s also a “thing” going on with John Oliver in the back seat of dark cars as well. Seems to be a “John” fetish. Sorry about that Scrut.
No. That's not true! You're just saying that because you are jealous! She says I am the one! (but the kid is not my son)
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Old 3rd January 2011, 06:09 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
No. That's not true! You're just saying that because you are jealous! She says I am the one! (but the kid is not my son)
Sylvia Browne is the bestest psychic evar!
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Old 3rd January 2011, 06:36 PM   #173
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Yup. This thread has been utterly Scrutinized.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 06:36 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by mikeyx View Post
Sylvia Browne is the bestest psychic evar!
Joke of the week either way you read it.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 07:10 PM   #175
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Given the seating was predetermined the only "difficult" part of the trick was knowing Liam’s first and second names and that he used his first. A reasonably uncommon thing that makes the trick more “amazing” than just giving a person’s first and second name. So how and where could Edward have gotten this information from?

Let’s accept RemieV’s conclusion/preference that Liam wasn’t a plant.

I can imagine several instances where Liam may have had to disclose his full name and address. The hire of a rental car for instance. A copy of the rental agreement with these details would have been in the rental car. Perhaps someone from valet parking got the details from there and gave them to Edward.

The thing is we just don’t know with any confidence that Liam didn’t give his details directly to one of Edward’s staff for some unknown reason before the show. Believers like Liam are notoriously bad at remembering and being aware that they do such things. He sound like a “chatty” guy given everyone at the table knew him by name.

But it wasn’t just the name trick that Edward was unusually good at on the night . . .
Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
Edward then did a reading for Liam. And it was a good reading - really good. At the very least, an excellent exercise in cold reading. But no amount of cold reading would yield something like that.
If we knew what the other “stuff” of the reading was we may be able to better decipher how the overall trick was done and whether Liam had any part in it.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 09:53 PM   #176
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Before I read anyone else's comments I'm going to reply just to Alison's first post.

You said that YOU didn't talk to anyone but Liam. What did that have to do with anything? Who knows how many people Liam might have talked to. If you are using a credit card at a casino/hotel then it would have your full legal name on it. Just cause he paid cash does not mean that he wasn't recognized from somewhere else when he was not paying cash.

Also possible that someone knew him (yes even from out of town you run into people) and feed that info to Edward.

What was the result of this major hit? John Edward totally scored something big that made Liam and anyone else paying attention really believe that Edward is the real deal. Was there anything in it for John Edward to have "cheated" and did a hot-reading? I mean what is more likely that Edward got an amazing hit (because he talks to dead people, or just a lucky hit) or that he found out Liam's real name somehow?

I look at it this way. The odds you are going to win the lottery are very very small. But the odds that someone is going to win are really good. In this case either Edwards had a shill or cheated some other way, it just happened to be on a person you had talked to earlier. Weird? Yes, but not that weird.

I think Mark Edward would be able be able to give us a lot more guidance on this.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 11:31 PM   #177
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It could be cold reading: JE takes a shot at the name “Joshua”. Liam’s eye’s snap to JE’s and he does a quick, unconscious gesture back at himself in a “you mean me?” kind of way and stands up. So JE says, “So you are Joshua.” A couple people at the table start shaking their heads in a “no, no JE just go that one wrong” kind of way. Liam says, “Yes, I’m Joshua.” People at the table look at him in questioning surprise. So JE says, “But you didn’t introduce your self that way.” Just a bit of body language, a small hand gesture and a couple of shakes of the head, gives it away.

The problem seem to be though, that JE went on with an excellent reading. That would indicate hot reading. All JE needs is an accomplice to find out a bit of information on one or two people. Then JE can do a show of cold reading and just throw in one hot read zinger to really sell it. So the accomplice lingers around the box office or entrance line, or play the part of a person going to see the show, or even gets a job in the box office or as an usher or something. Some days the accomplice may only come up with, “gray haired lady in pink sweater at table 17 wants to find out about her dead mother Rose.” In other cases they can get a name and city and find out more information. Maybe the accomplice was behind Liam at the box office and peeked at his driver’s license when Liam pulled out his wallet to pay cash for the ticket (you said Liam’s ticket said he paid cash, I’m not sure if you can purchase a ticket with cash over the internet). Or maybe the compliance overhead Liam mention that he was “Liam Wachowski” and a “dentist from Quebec” or whatever. Since Liam has an unusual name, Google easily turns up a “Dr. Joshua Liam Wachowski, DDS” in Quebec. A bit more searching turns up a few details for the hot read.

Of course it could be even easier. Perhaps they asked his name for the seating chart. JE gets his hands on the seating chart. He Googles “Liam Wachowski” and comes up with the information above. If JE can get his hands on a couple of unusual names of audience members, a quick Google would likely turn up some details. Whether JE gets his information from something like ticket sales or a seating chart or an accomplice either on the inside or just eavesdropping, it doesn’t seem that difficult.

Uncovering the secret might be a bit more problematic. You might try to find out if any information about audience members, like a seating chart, find its way into JE’s hands. It seems likely this would be unlikely or at least difficult to uncover since a lot of JE’s schtick is guessing names. If the trick is done with an accomplice, someone could watch the box office and entrance lines and audience member to see if the same one or two people always seem to be hanging around. Another means of catching JE in the trick is to attend the show using an unusual name that turns up one and only one real person on a Google search that has a lot of information about that person. The problem is that it would have to be someone who doesn’t have a picture online. And of course there is no guaranty that your fake name gets picked for the hot read, so you would have to attend a number of shows before catching JE in the trick.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 11:34 PM   #178
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Now I've read the entire thread.

Joshua Liam probably opened his wallet once or many times after it was clear he was heading for the show. Like my lottery reference, people weren't sent out to discover Liam's real name. People were sent out to discover the full name (or any other do-dad of info)of ANYONE going to the show. Someone just happened to see Liam's name and reported it back to JE. They watched where he sat (didn't even have to be exact, just in the general area) and JE pointed in that area and said "Joshua".

It could have been just about anyone wandering around before the show, someone could have spilled their purse in front of someone who was "glenning" the audience, some medication could have rolled out and that would have been the "hit" when the show started.

It is only odd (just odd) that this was the person you talked to in line.

Also want to point out.

John Edward does talk to dead people.

So do I

NOTE: I notice that Francine is back, I have missed your comments on skepticblog Francine.
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Old 3rd January 2011, 11:38 PM   #179
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Forgot to mention

Don't understand why showing a driver's license is all that odd. A man carries his wallet everywhere and the top card is usually the DL. Who carries a passport in your wallet into a casino? Women might in a purse but not a man. A man would leave his passport back at the hotel (or better yet in his wife's purse)

If someone doubted my name (age, address ect) I would whip out my DL and NOT my credit card.

He opened his wallet to take out some cash and someone peeked.
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Old 4th January 2011, 01:05 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
But, here is my best suggestion for how to catch him, and if any of you are ever in Las Vegas when John Edward is performing, let me know and we can get together and take a run at it.

We're going to need to have ten people in the audience who are paying attention to who gets a reading during the show. Then we're just gonna have to walk up to those people as they exit, corral them, and ask them what's up.

Of course, now we can have an ethical debate about it. These are people who will more than likely be crying who believe they have just received verification that their loved one is still around. So. What say you? At the very least, we should attempt to get names, and then go online and see if we can divine identical information through non-paranormal means.
Oooh, I wish I were in Vegas. I'm a sucker for stunts like that.


Anyway, we've discussed this in the past over IRC, and like many others I think it's either 1. a plant 2. info stroke of luck or 3. old-fashioned cold reading.

One thing I wonder - After "Liam" stood up, did he walk over to John Edward (thus allowing for easier cold reading) or stay back where he'd be obscured by the stage lights?
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Old 4th January 2011, 01:16 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
4) Oliver said that he was getting the sensation of more than one person within this person, one arguing with another.

- My uncle was, again, schizophrenic.
This sets of an important alarm clock. As I'm certain you know, schizophrenia, contrary to a still popular belief, does not equal or include multiple personality disorder (dissociative personality disorder). Not unlikely, John Oliver did not know this when he, in whatever way, stumbled upon the information that your uncle was a schizophrenic.

This also indicates that he had specifically found out that your uncle was schizophrenic, and not just that he'd had mental problems of some sort.


Originally Posted by sophia8 View Post
That's the popular idea of schizophrenia, and it's usually wrong. OK, some schizophrenics do hear voices, but only a minority of them (My ex was schizophrenic and he didn't hear voices, he just had delusions.)
Even so, auditory hallucinations are way, way different from multiple personalities.

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To me, that particular 'hit' sounds quite a lot like warm reading - especially when coupled with the repeated mentions of 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest'. He didn't give any details of your uncle's actual behaviour - schizophrenia doesn't mean "double personality" and is in fact just a general term that covers a huge variety of symptoms. I think Oliver just had a general idea of "mental illness!" and gave you his misconception of it.
(Of course, if your uncle's symptoms did consist of hearing voices and arguing with them out loud, it would be a different story.)
It mens "divided mind", so it's not strange why someone would get the idea. I agree with you, though.
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Old 4th January 2011, 02:38 AM   #182
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This guys first and last name thing keeps confusing me. I've went through my whole life using my middle name, as a matter of fact all my identification except my drivers license and registration have my birth name on it, my second name is on everything else like, Credit Cards, Draft Card and Military ID, when I served, Seaman Papers, Bank Account etc. When I first got my learners permit I remember they call my name and I did not know it was my name they were calling until the examiner look straight at me. So in my case I would of never told anyone that I went by my second name and never would have stood up if someone call my birth name.




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Old 4th January 2011, 02:54 AM   #183
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I still say he simply had access to seating arrangement.

Get ten skeptics in the audience and seat them apart from each other so they are covering all sections of the audience.
The wherever JE points there will be a skeptic to indicate a positive hit on anything he says.
Then lead him on a merry path so to speak.
JE says "I'm getting a M name, a woman, skeptic nearest indicates a hit, then provides ridiculous confirmations of whatever JE says.
"Yes my aunt Maggie has past, flowers, yes she was addicted to marigold seeds, a bracelet, yes she would wear wild elaborate jewelry when she molested me.
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Old 4th January 2011, 03:07 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post

I didn't say that these were unlikely scenarios. I didn't say I thought he achieved the information through paranormal means. In fact, much of the response to this thread seems to have taken an odd turn wherein I am the believer.
It wouldn't have been right for the person who ran the Challenge for three years to not be open to the possibility that paranormal abilities exist. Confirmation bias and all that. Remie is doing it correctly.

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Constantly defending myself by flashing my Real Live Skeptic card is becoming tiresome.
What else have you got
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Old 4th January 2011, 07:25 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
I think the bar scenario (or something similar) is far more likely. Who pulls their license out? I do at the airport, and did about 2 months ago on the side of the highway (damn cop), but other than that, my license probably only leaves my pocket less than 10 times a year. Remember, even if he had his wallet open at some point, like when checking in, the person looking over his shoulder would first have to know that he was going to the show at some point in the future.

I don't deny that the bar scenario is a possibility.

However, I, and most people I've met, carry my license in a transparent window in my wallet. I cannot get anything out of my wallet without revealing my license unless I hold it against my chest like a poker player.

I also don't find it unlikely that a John Edward groupie might have wanted to preserve the ticket stub to a John Edward show as a memento, in which case, placing it carefully into one's wallet would not be an act that would surprise me. Or, failing that, I can think of many, many reasons that a wallet might come out in the course of a night.

I'm not saying that this is the way it happened. I'm just saying that, to me, the story - particular Edward's request to show his license - strongly suggests that someone in Edward's group saw Liam's license at some point in the night.

I think it is likely that RemieV happened to attend a show where out of the 150 guests, someone got a lucky glimpse at the license of one of the guests and gave John Edward an opportunity to do a hot read. Since RemieV has been to many of John Edward's shows and said that this was the first time she had seen something like this happen only confirms that it was a rare case of someone being at the right place at the right time.

RemieV also confirms that Edward quickly did the license trick and then continued with a typical cold reading. Again suggesting that the license is the key to getting Liam's full name.

It is the most likely scenario I can think of, but, of course, it isn't necessarily what happened.
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Old 4th January 2011, 07:33 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by sgf8 View Post
A man carries his wallet everywhere and the top card is usually the DL...

...He opened his wallet to take out some cash and someone peeked.

I completely agree. I think this is most likely the answer.
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Old 4th January 2011, 08:20 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
This is one of the more amusing threads I've seen lately.
Agreed.

It's a good object lesson in the lengths people will go to to avoid the most obvious explanation, simply because the most obvious explanation goes against everything they've spent years of their lives setting themselves up to represent and defend, no matter what.


In this example, and countless other examples over millenia of reported human history, the evidence would suggest that - shock of all shocks - there are aspects of existence that our current culture of choice on this particular planet does not yet fully understand.
And that therefore - slightly milder shock - the most rational course would be to be scrupulous about maintaining an open-minded outlook (which is, after all, the bedrock of science).
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Old 4th January 2011, 08:21 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by plumjam View Post
Agreed.

It's a good object lesson in the lengths people will go to to avoid the most obvious explanation, simply because the most obvious explanation goes against everything they've spent years of their lives setting themselves up to represent and defend, no matter what.


In this example, and countless other examples over millenia of reported human history, the evidence would suggest that - shock of all shocks - there are aspects of existence that our current culture of choice on this particular planet does not yet fully understand.
And that therefore - slightly milder shock - the most rational course would be to be scrupulous about maintaining an open-minded outlook (which is, after all, the bedrock of science).
The most obvious conclusion being the utter destruction of the laws of physics and tremendous logical gymnastics, I presume?
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Old 4th January 2011, 08:27 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by plumjam View Post
Agreed.

It's a good object lesson in the lengths people will go to to avoid the most obvious explanation, simply because the most obvious explanation goes against everything they've spent years of their lives setting themselves up to represent and defend, no matter what.


In this example, and countless other examples over millenia of reported human history, the evidence would suggest that - shock of all shocks - there are aspects of existence that our current culture of choice on this particular planet does not yet fully understand.
And that therefore - slightly milder shock - the most rational course would be to be scrupulous about maintaining an open-minded outlook (which is, after all, the bedrock of science).
Complete and utter twaddle.

Ignoring that your idea of what constitutes the most obvious explanation along with what constitutes and open mind, your statement about being shocked that there are aspects of existence not yet understood is an idiotic strawman.
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Old 4th January 2011, 08:31 AM   #190
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
The most obvious conclusion being the utter destruction of the laws of physics
Why would you assume that an improvement necessarily involves the utter destruction of what has gone before?
Most physicists believe that Einstein's improvement of the Newtonian understanding was no destruction, but was simply that... an improvement.


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and tremendous logical gymnastics, I presume?
has nothing whatsoever to do with logic.
Unless you somehow believe that the study of logic is somehow inextricably linked with the current state of understanding of the physical universe.
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Old 4th January 2011, 08:33 AM   #191
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Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
Complete and utter twaddle.

Ignoring that your idea of what constitutes the most obvious explanation along with what constitutes and open mind, your statement about being shocked that there are aspects of existence not yet understood is an idiotic strawman.
Hmm.. I see you're still pissed about last time.
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Old 4th January 2011, 08:46 AM   #192
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Originally Posted by plumjam View Post
Why would you assume that an improvement necessarily involves the utter destruction of what has gone before?
Most physicists believe that Einstein's improvement of the Newtonian understanding was no destruction, but was simply that... an improvement.
Even if the workings of the brain are not well understood, the components are. There is no room for the information transfer that would be required, and would call for enormous special pleading.

[/quote]has nothing whatsoever to do with logic.
Unless you somehow believe that the study of logic is somehow inextricably linked with the current state of understanding of the physical universe.[/quote]

Has very much to do with logic. Why stand on stages guessing peoples' names when you could go and make a million right away, guess the lottery number, etc? Any explanation of this involves, of course, special pleading supported only by the initial assumption that a "paranormal" explanation is correct.
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Old 4th January 2011, 09:00 AM   #193
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Originally Posted by plumjam View Post
Hmm.. I see you're still pissed about last time.
Not in the slightest. Very little in discussions angers me. I did, however, learn that there is no point in beating around the bush with you. If you're going to run off from the discussion without answering any questions, best to get you to do it early so you waste less of my time.
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Old 4th January 2011, 09:06 AM   #194
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Even if the workings of the brain are not well understood, the components are.
Meaningless.
And even if the components of the brain were understood, how would that translate to mind?

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There is no room for the information transfer that would be required, and would call for enormous special pleading.
You've heard it here folks.
TubbaBlubba has informed us that even though most of you will be reading this conversation via some kind of wi-fi technology, nevertheless there is "no room" for any information transfer to the human brain-mind other than via the fleshy senses and then by a cable network.

Humans have already created the internet, wi-fi, global communication via waves in the atmosphere... but we cannot create anything that is living or reproducible or aware, and yet you somehow believe that the latter group (the living, the able to reproduce, the aware) would not be using the former abilities (various forms of communication whose means are invisible to the crude senses).

To me, that is a bizarre belief, based only on doctrinaire stupid materialism.

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Has very much to do with logic. Why stand on stages guessing peoples' names when you could go and make a million right away, guess the lottery number, etc? Any explanation of this involves, of course, special pleading supported only by the initial assumption that a "paranormal" explanation is correct.
Nothing whatsoever to do with logic. I know you're young, but try to be careful about the terms you use in argument.

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Old 4th January 2011, 09:17 AM   #195
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Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
Not in the slightest. Very little in discussions angers me. I did, however, learn that there is no point in beating around the bush with you. If you're going to run off from the discussion without answering any questions, best to get you to do it early so you waste less of my time.
Well you didn't really make any points. It was just an expression of miffedness*.

* British sort of expression, sorry.
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Old 4th January 2011, 09:50 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by plumjam View Post
It's a good object lesson in the lengths people will go to to avoid the most obvious explanation, simply because the most obvious explanation goes against everything they've spent years of their lives setting themselves up to represent and defend, no matter what.

Obvious explanations can often be wrong.
  • The obvious explanation for power bracelets is that they improve one's balance.
  • The obvious explanation for dowsing is that twigs can locate water.
  • The obvious explanation for David Copperfield zipping around the stage is that he can fly.
  • The obvious explanation for John Edward correctly guessing a person's first and middle names is that he is psychic.

However, we can either accept these obvious explanations that contradict our current understanding of reality - which, you are correct, may be wrong - or we can compare them to other explanations that may not be quite as obvious, but should be considered more likely, because they don't contradict our current understanding of reality.
  • The likely explanation for power bracelets is that buyers are convinced that they improve balance, because of a mixture of the placebo effect coupled with some simple tricks that take advantage of one's centre of gravity.
  • The likely explanation for dowsing is that dowsers are being led by the ideomotor effect.
  • The likely explanation for David Copperfield zipping around the stage is that he is suspended by wires.
  • The likely explanation for John Edward correctly guessing a person's first and middle names - especially considering the fact that he immediately called for the man's license - is that someone John Edward knows caught a glimpse of the license beforehand.

One who still believes that the obvious explanation is correct is of course welcome to provide evidence of such by submitting to controlled testing.
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Old 4th January 2011, 09:53 AM   #197
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Old 4th January 2011, 10:01 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by plumjam View Post
Nothing whatsoever to do with logic. I know you're young, but try to be careful about the terms you use in argument.
That's the best you can do? A bald denial and an ad hominem?

Welcome to my ignore list. I will not bother giving the rest of your (rather thoughtless, I must add) post a reply.
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Old 4th January 2011, 10:38 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by plumjam View Post
TubbaBlubba has informed us that even though most of you will be reading this conversation via some kind of wi-fi technology, nevertheless there is "no room" for any information transfer to the human brain-mind other than via the fleshy senses ....
That's correct (if you remove the double-quotes around "no room").

A Wi-Fi transmitter consumes power, has a visible antenna, produces signals that are detectable, and it can be easily demonstrated that information can be exchanged by Wi-Fi.

The brain, however, doesn't consume enough power to transmit information outside the body, it has no antenna, there are no signals radiating from the brain that could transmit information, and there's no evidence that the brain communicates except through actions of the body.

-- Roger
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Old 4th January 2011, 10:46 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
Not only that, but the box office is run by the casino, not by the staff of the show. It is extraordinarily unlikely that, even if Edward's team asked, the casino would cough up a list of attendees.
Are some of the casino employees/ushers giving JE's team information? Maybe not for every show, depending on who's working, but much of the time?

It's in everybody's self-interest
- that night's show is a great success, so JE wins
- the casino is abuzz with happy showgoers, and more sold-out performances should follow, so the casino wins
- the audience gets comfort from loved ones communicating from the beyond, so the attendees win (in a warped way)
- the one skeptic in the audience gets... er, uh, gets... gets 10 other skeptics to cough up $300 to attend another JE show, please NOOOOO!!!

Vegas is not exceedingly coy about these cozy relationships. Pick up a savvy guide book on Vegas and it will tell you as much. One example: My parents have been going to Vegas for years, and every time my father checks in at his hotel on the strip, he discretely puts a $50 bill under his credit card, and says something like "we'd love a view of the strip if something is available." Nothing too pushy, and no promises. It's worked every time for him (I think he started this "trick" about 10 years ago - and they avoid weeks when big conventions are in town). I mentioned this to a few friends who were traveling to the same hotel (although I don't think it really matters), and they were similarly "lucky". Three or four nights in a suite, paying the regular room rate. This happens and the management knows it happens.

And if you're a putting on a show, you're adept at these sorts of things, and there's really no danger of being exposed. You're better at reading people, obviously, so you know who to approach. You start small, low stakes, no real repercussions if they don't play ball. Some get hooked, and voila - very useful information for the night's show.

And if I'm a psychic, I don't want ushers with "bad vibes" polluting my audience hall.

Also, if Liam did pull out his wallet, as some have surmised, and a staffer got a five-second look at his driver's license, what a goldmine! First the picture - has he/she lost weight or gained a few pounds? Glasses gone? New beard? Change of hair color (ladies)? And the written details - Does the full name maybe include a Jr. or the III? Does she have a Jersey accent, but a Sarasota address?

One thing for the OP - I know you wear disguises, but do you think you've ever been recognized by JE's staff (or a casino employee)? You live in or around Vegas, you've attended quite a few shows, you're recognizable (to them) based on your field of interest, etc. And do you think any of them keep tabs on the "opposition", as it were, by reading the JREF forum threads and the like? I imagine they do, which is why you PM at times.
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