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Tony Grist

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Acorah- We Just Can't Get Enough Of Him [Dec. 16th, 2006|01:34 pm]
Tony Grist
My flippant post about Derek Acorah drew a comment from Emma Gee in which she directed me to her website Doublexposure where she mounts an impressively documented, forensically precise, admirably argued attack on celebrity mediums- with poor old Derek as exhibit #1. 

It makes me sad. Derek is fun, a great entertainer. I love his work, but...but...but...

What is the psychology of the fraudulent medium? Do these guys start off with a gift of sorts which they then betray as they climb the ladder and put themselves in places where they have to perform to order and under pressure? Or are they bare-arsed fraudsters from the start?  I used to read tarot once- I sort of knew what I was doing- but I wound up pushing my ability further than it would go and- anxious about what was happening to me- got out before I freewheeled into the ditch.  These days I won't touch the cards. The fields of the occult and the paranormal aren't evil in themselves, but it's right  there should be warning signs posted at the gates.  You can be an ethical occult practitioner or medium, just as you can be an ethical politician or advertising executive, but there are chances for corruption at every turn.

I knew a chap once who had carved himself a niche on the northern/midlands occult scene. He knew all the players; all the players knew him. He was clubbable, outgoing, charming, roly-poly and a complete fake. Test him on any of his many claimed areas of wizardly expertise and it was like pushing a stick through wet cardboard. I concluded, kindly, that he was a fantasist, a Walter Mitty- and since he wasn't making money out of his activities we'll let the judgement stand.

Another thing I figured was that he was cunning but not very bright.

But the people who do make money out of their non-existent or overstretched gifts- how do they sleep at nights?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: solar_diablo
2006-12-16 02:21 pm (UTC)
Interesting post.

The fields of the occult and the paranormal aren't evil in themselves, but it's right there should be warning signs posted at the gates.
Warnings against what - humans, something else, or both? I'm curious if your decision to pull out of tarot reading was because you could see yourself deceiving others at some point, or was it something paranormal that gave you pause?

But the people who do make money out of their non-existent or overstretched gifts- how do they sleep at nights?
Undoubtedly most do it quite well. I suspect justifications abound for those frauds in the psychic business just as they do for any other area of commerce.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-12-16 04:59 pm (UTC)
Warnings against the ethical mess you can get yourself into. With Tarot the danger was that I'd start pretending to an expertise I didn't possess. There was nothing paranormal about what I was doing- and that was issue, really- that I'd bow to pressure (from clients who so badly want to believe) and make as if I was in touch with higher powers.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2006-12-17 12:17 pm (UTC)
As far as I know, I've met only one really psychic man.

For $80 a half-hour, he told me all kinds of true things about my life, and he had never seen me before.

He told me I had two children, that my ex-husband was a disaster named Richard or Rick (true)--he went on and on.

We talked briefly about God, and he said I would find God was my Self.

He is booked for three years in advance, never advertises, lives in a house in the country.

I saw him twice. The first time he got it all--left me breathless.

I don't want to ever see him again. He can see how people die. (He said in a local newspaper interview that he "sees endings.")

(He said my ex-husband, "bless his heart," wouldn't live to be an old man, but that I would live to be an old woman.)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-12-17 05:31 pm (UTC)
That, I think, is the kind of psychic I might trust.

I've never met anyone that impressive. There's a woman our friend Carl recommends who may be in a similar league. She gets booked months in advance and charges nothing- though she is happy to receive "gifts".

But I don't particularly want to have my fortune told- in fact I'd rather not know. What interests me is psychism as such- how it works, what it is, if it can be convincingly demonstrated...
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