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On a related note, this SNL parody of John Edward is pretty funny - even though the real JE is a lot better than this!

Does this mean that all mediumistic phenomena are phony? Keene seems to think so, though he allows for the existence of ESP in some people. William Rauscher, a psychic researcher who wrote the forward to the book, takes the opposite tack, stating that some mediumship is genuine, and that Keene's debunking efforts should not tar the whole field."

My best friend is gay and from what I can tell, he pretty much believes everyone is gay. I suppose it's just human nature to see a reflection of ourselves in everyone else. After all, we can't read their mind, so we can only infer that their mind works the same way ours does. - Artie

MP,
I am tired of this explanations passing out as certified debunking... This person seems to spin a good story.. but we only know his side of the story.. Maybe he was repeatedly caught in his act & then wanted to make a final killing by writing a book...

Just as how people think that paranormal incidents should be scientifically tested, debunking attempts must also be done scientifically.. Can't have different standards & alow the skeptics a very low standard where their anecdotal evidences are passed off as scientific facts just cause they don't threaten the mainstream science..

So this person debunking experiments should be scientifically tested.. repeat the same process on camera & lets see how it goes.. if all he claims that can be done was really done or is it mere bluster.. contrast that with the evidence from other mediums... conduct studies of the sitters.. see how much effort does it take..

See where we are going.. So in short I am not wee bit impressed with this debunking effort.. this is on the level of the P & T BS show where they set up strawman cases, state half the story & foolishly revel in their own muck.. sad...

Even if one is a believer or not sure, it's good to know what tricks a fraud might use, in order to determine whether one is consulting the real thing.

There are no doubt talented magicians and conmen and women who could mimick much of what is passed off as mediumship. Ever try the electronic game called 20Q (20 Questions), it is amazing what a computer database can figure out in 20 questions, often correctly guessing a rather obscure object that one is thinking of while answering the 20 questions. But it is those instances of apparent first-time meetings between mediums and sitters and extrodinarily accurate and specific information that keeps us all intriqued. Also, other factors like the fact that nobody has ever pinned any fraud allegations on well known mediums like John Edward (after all of these years). The field deserves serious study.

>So this person debunking experiments should be scientifically tested..

When I get the time, I plan to buy a low-wattage red light bulb and see if it's true that black clothing (like, say, black socks)is rendered invisible in such light. It should be simple enough to test.

In the meantime, I have no reason to doubt Keene's story, other than to note that he is an admitted trickster and deceiver. This being the case, some new deception on his part cannot be ruled out. Still, his descriptions of seance shenanigans are broadly consistent with what psychic researchers have uncovered over the years.

He does make mention of an experiment in which infrared film was taken at a materialization seance. The film clearly showed the medium's accomplices entering the dark room in ghostly attire.

MP,
but what if black chiffon is visible while black cotton socks isn't ( assume something to do with the material)...
Is it invisible at all angles... Did the all sitters claim the same thing... there are so many skeptical quuestions one can raise...

Keene's description of seance incidents could have been easily picked from numerus books, widely available.. when debunkers resort to mere presence of an obscure information in a obscure foreign language in a obscure library as valid explanation for fraud in re-incarnation stories where a person gives historical info.. surely we can hold Keene to some basic standards of debunking...

I would like to see this infrared film & also hear from all sitters in that experiment if they noticed the entrance of the said accomplice...

So i wouldn't pay too much heed to his stories other than noting the ways some fraudsters think the trick can be done.. so parapsycologists can be prepared in their observations... IMP parapsycologists have been repeatedly fine tuning their experiments to ridiculous levels that mainstream scientists will baulk at... Just look at the speciation definition that drawinists resort to prop up their fictious undirected evolutionary story ignoring the commonsense definition under the guise its too stringent...

Keene was unquestionably a prominent medium for many years. I don't think there's any reason to believe he's making it all up.

Selling his Books???

Thats one of the oft repeated debunking claim for paranormal motives...

and how do we define "unquestionably a prominent medium"

Is it on the level of Palladino who had media reports, books etc documenting hewr feats...

Was keene on that level or the street corner fake medium who was said to have a bit of local popularity...

Did he attarct debunkers??? if he was "unquestionably a prominent medium".. there must be quite a few debunking attempts done n him before he came out of the closet to sell books...

Any reports on such things???

>and how do we define "unquestionably a prominent medium"

He was a major figure at Camp Chesterfield, which was - and still is - one of the most prominent spiritualist enclaves in the country.

From this page:

"Perhaps the most well known [spiritualist] camp in the nation and today the oldest, is located near Indianapolis in the small town of Chesterfield. Well renowned in spiritualist circles as a Mecca for supernatural activity, Camp Chesterfield was founded in 1887 and has been in continual use since that time. Growing from a few tents and ramshackle buildings, the camp has evolved into a sprawling campus of lodges and cottages, some used to accommodate guests and some in use by the dozens of mediums who gather there each season. The first of several large meeting halls was built there in 1891 and since that time, these halls have been used for large public seances as well as lectures."

As a medium, I want to thank you for pointing me to a book I was unaware of. Mediumship was and still is ripe with frauds or crooks. It's a sad state of affairs.

Additionally, there is a false perception out there that mediums must be 100% accurate to be honest. That is an impossible expectation. I never claim to have any special power or gift. I think that is crap. I only claim to be a skilled listener, which is what I do. Now, this doesn't mean I am a perfect listener in any way whatsoever. I make many interpretation mistakes or simply do not understand at all what I am shown or told by those in spirit.

Personally, my aim is always 100% honesty, not 100% accuracy. This is why I don't think testing mediums to prove the afterlife is worth it. Mediums are just humans acting as listening devices... and humans are fallable.

On a side note to your post, I just want to say that fraud is everywhere, not just within paranormal communities. In my youth, I heard a theory that all women fake orgasms. As a responsible skeptic, I felt compelled to uncover the truth to this theory by testing as large a sample of international women as possible. Sadly, all orgasms I encountered seemed to be authentic, and thus I had to give up my quest and finally settle down. Ironically, it was only until I was married did I realize that there could be some truth to this after all. :->

Marcel,
May I ask your preferred method for giving readings...tarot cards?
Thanks, Suzie

No, Suzie. I do not use anything other than the mind, and I don't ask the sitter questions other than a "yes" or a "no" to their understanding of the information I convey. So, I am what people call a mental medium. I listen to the information that spirit gives me and deliver it exactly as I receive it. Like I said, most of what comes through is a total mystery to me, but usually between 90-95% of time the sitter knows what it means or where it belongs.

Remember, mediumship is not a gift or a supernatural force, it is merely a form of consciousness to consciouness communication. The laws of physics, the axioms of math and the waves of light and sound somehow come into play, but don't ask me to tell you how as my brain is too small and my time too limited to figure it out.

I believe that science has always been a game of connect the dots until a full picture is formed. Slowly but surely, we will have enough dots on the topic of survival of consciousness to get the picture some of us already know to be true.

You have a lovely blog. You might be interested in visiting my friend, Janet who is a psychic! Her web site is at: www.freewebs.com/janet-psychic just thought I’d let you know.

Here's a rule of thumb, Veronica, any psychic or medium that writes about themselves in third person or claims to be able to help people with "all" their issues or questions is usually a self-agrandizing egomaniac.

Victor Zammit inveighs against Mr. Keene and his book in his latest newsletter. victorzammit.com

>Victor Zammit inveighs against Mr. Keene and his book in his latest newsletter. victorzammit.com

Oh, goodie. Zammit again! I think I'll pass ...

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