"Spiritual Medium" admits, "We are all liars!"

I've mentioned before that I enjoy reading the Postsecret website. People are encouraged to put their secrets onto a post card and mail them anonymously to Frank Warren, the creator of the site. Sending anonymous secrets to a stranger so they can be read by all seems to be emotionally cathartic for the sender. It also helps the reader realize that other people are experiencing similar difficulties (or joys) in life.

The last Postsecret post card that I wrote about was from a minister who said (indirectly) that he felt other ministers knew that religion was a scam, a scam he was in on.

This card is something like that, from someone who is respected for a non-existent ability to talk to the dead. I feel sorry for this person because he is trapped by his (or her) "respectable" position. Perhaps he or she is making a living talking to the dead; like John Edward or James Van Praagh.

Wouldn't it be interesting if this card actually was from Edward or Van Praagh?
Hm... Maybe I don't feel so sorry... those creeps have made a bundle by raping the emotions of the bereaved.

I once believed in mediums. I used to think the Ouija board actually worked. I've since realized I was only fooling myself. And I'm not the only person to come to that sort of realization. Even skeptics can deceive themselves that ghosts exist. And although it is easy to fake psychic powers, or fake being a medium, (link 2) it is also easy to believe in your own fake fortunetelling.

Of everyone that a "ghost whisperer" or psychic has to fool, the easiest one to fool is yourself.

And if you make a living at talking to or promoting ghosts, or being a psychic, I guess you have to find a way to live with yourself. Perhaps you are merely "telling stories" for entertainment value - but you should be prepared to offer a disclaimer. CSI writer Philip Howard related an anecdote about that:
A listener once asked a popular national storyteller if she believed the ghost stories she related. “I believe they paid for my children’s college educations,” she replied.
I enjoy a great ghost story.


Scientia said...

This particular phenomenon has always baffled me. Then again, I HAVE played with a Ouija board before... once. When I was 13. And I was the one moving the damn pointer around.

Come to think of it, maybe that's why I'm baffled- I was the one faking the whole thing, so surely there must be such a prankster in every group? Why aren't there more people who are willing to scoff openly? Or is pubescent prankstering something that retains lifelong appeal for some reason that just escapes me?

I read about mediums and the rise of spiritualism first through Arthur Conan Doyle's vigorous support of the movement, and then went and read about Harry Houdini's equally vigorous- and much more rigorous- debunking of the same practices. Houdini is to this day the best I've read, and I honestly don't see how anyone can read his book (Miracle Mongers and Their Methods) and still believe such practices are legitimate. *sigh* Then again, that could be said for any number of things...

VAMP said...

I recently bought the new Postsecret book. I too love my Sunday ritual of Postsecret.com and have had 3 of my own secrets published on the website.

I just did a google search on Atheist and Postsecret to see if anyone owned up to the secret in the new book. It says, "I am an editor for a large online atheist newsletter....and I believe in God!"

Also, I've secretly wanted, not to be a medium, but one of those people that "clears or cleanses" a home so it'll sell. Knowing full well, I'd just be taking advantage of them. Horrible, right?

Calladus said...

Not too horrible. I've also had thoughts of making money off of quack or pseudo-scientific cons.

From my readings into these, I figure it would be easy to make money dowsing for water, selling homeopathic sleep or headache aids, or being a 'psychic' of some sort. I'll bet I could get rich off of something like that.

But thinking something immoral, and actually acting it out are two different things. I know I would have to give up shaving, because I'd never be able to look at my own face again, if I were preying on the innocent for my own gain.

I think there are two types of quack - those who are lying to themselves, and those who lie to everyone else, knowing full well that what they're doing is faked. I can understand, if not excuse the first type.

Nay said...

I believe that there some people out there that give great comfort and advice for little or nothing at all. Religion not spirituality has been the problem for decades. I have seem a "psychic/spiritual advisor" before and the depth of her knowledge and unconditional love went beyond anything I experienced before...and no she actually didn't make a fortune off me but she helped me move to a miraculous place in my life and I am forever in her debt. She is and always will be a dear friend and teacher. Though there are people who fake it and lie...there are those who arw genuine caring and loving spiritual advsors. What all of you afraid of? I think most of you have a need to be synical or ajgry about something. Find something to get happy about and stop judging

Calladus said...

That's very interesting Nay. But I have to ask... is the truth important to you?

Is it important to you that what you believe is true, that is can be verified objectively?

Because if it is, then perhaps you might not be so happy believing in something that isn't real.

And if truth is NOT important to you, then it won't matter what you believe as long as it gives you comfort and makes you feel loved.

Nay said...

And how do you know it isnt true.? Again...truth only lies within yourself. What you believe or think is true is only something you believe but doesnt define others. Reality and truth are subjective. I might look at a thunderstorm and think it is beautiful and powerful but you might think it is scary and noisey and you run the other way. Who is correct? It is personal and no one has the right to judge it. The "truth" lies in what is true to you.

Calladus said...

You claim that reality and truth are subjective.

I've got to ask you, how can you prove this?

My claim is that reality and truth are objective, and can be experimentally verified.

For example, I have a metal baseball bat.

If I hit you in your kneecaps with this baseball bat until they break, is this merely a subjective version of reality that you can dismiss? Or is it an objective demonstration of reality that you will not be able to overcome?

Nay said...

Once again you are thinking one dimensionally. You are the type of person that would tell a child that has nothing and the only toy they have is a box ...which they cherish...for some special reason......you would say.."its just a box and I can prove it because it is by definition..just a box" imagine if all the artists, musicians and other creative people thought like you...what a boring world we would live in.

Calladus said...

Really? You know my mind so well that you actually believe I would disparage imagination or creativity?

Next you'll be psychoanalyzing my youth.

You seem to be having difficulty determining the difference between imagination and reality. This comes perilously close to crossing over rule 8 of my comment moderation policy.

Please reassure me that you ARE able to tell the difference between reality and imagination.

Calladus said...

Comment from Nay deleted due to rule 8 of my comment moderation policy.