"The true-believer syndrome merits study by science.
What is it that compels a person, past all reason, to
believe the unbelievable? How can an otherwise sane
individual become so enamored of a fantasy, an
imposture, that even after it's exposed in the bright
light of day he still clings to it--- indeed, clings to
it all the harder?
"The true-believer syndrome is the greatest thing phony mediums have going for them. No amount of logic can shatter a faith consciously based on a lie."
© M. Lamar Keene, the world's greatest spirit medium. Quoted from pg. 151, The Psychic Mafia, 1997, Prometheus Books 1-57392-161-0.
You would think that confidence scams would be against the law, right? Well, you would think correctly. However, in the USA such practices are protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and even more strongly protected by over two hundred years of hands-off precedent. Law enforcement in the USA has nearly always shunned bringing religious-based criminals to court to answer for their crimes: the USA government does not wish to appear to be "persecuting churches." As Lamar Keene pointed out:
"To make my renunciation of mediumship complete, I knew
there were other things I yet had to do. Seeking out a Masonic
friend, I poured forth to him the whole story. At my request he
went with me to the authorities. I turned myself in to the
Internal Revenue Service for evasion of income tax. (I
eventually paid all back taxes in full.) I also visited the FBI,
the county sheriffs office, and the state attorney-general. To
all these I made full confession of my years of fraud.
"No police investigation of any medium was launched as a result of my action nor, to my knowledge, did the Internal Revenue Service look into the matter of mediumistic bookkeeping. One reason for official reluctance to do anything may be an exaggerated concept of religious liberty. Apparently the last thing a public official in this country wants is for some sect like the spiritualists to scream bloody murder about religious persecution. At any rate, whatever the reason, the mediums continue unmolested.
"As a matter of fact, my former partner is doing better than ever[....]"
© M. Lamar Keene, the world's greatest spirit medium. Quoted from pg. 153, The Psychic Mafia, 1997, Prometheus Books 1-57392-161-0.
This dispite the fact that Keene confessed to fraud, theft, burglary, robbing the dead, picking pockets, and tax evasion ("all in a day's work," as the American saying goes, for spirit mediums).
Do you believe in "psychic phenomena?" Do you believe people can "talk to the dead?" Do you believe that some people can heal with just a touch or a shout of "Praise Jezuz!" or other incantation? Or do you think these things are silly, and yet still believe in astrology, I Ching, chiropractic, homeopathy, or spoon benders?
Alas, if you do, you are a fool. Human beings are increadably easy to deceive. Miracles performed before their very eyes by prestidigitation (i.e. "stage magic") they find entertaining; the same miracles performed by a self-professed "psychic," using the same or similar methods of the state magician, are seen by the True Believers as "evidence" of their beliefs. No amount of evidence to the contrary, including confession by the fraud who performed the tricks, is good enough to sway the True Believer. If you are among these poor souls, well, you have my sympathy, but you must admit you "had it comming to you." After all, you believe the impossible--- shouldn't you pay for such stupidity?
The "psychics," spirit mediums, spoon-benders, and all the other miracle workers believe you should. Imagine the utter contemp they hold for their gullible vistims. As "David" in the movie King of the Gypsies put it, talking about their victims:
And that is the entire truth, in one insightful (albeit poor) sentence. I may as well be the one to tell you the brutal, cold, hard truth: genuine "psychic phenomena" do not exist. Lack of evidence for "psychic phenomena" is excellent evidence for lack of the existance of that phenomena. All a "psychic" need do to demonstrate my assertion false is to demonstrate a "psychic" ability. Not surprising, "psychics" refuse. EVERY TIME. Dowsers fail every time. Astrologers (and I've studied astrology and astrologers for 15 years) fail every time. "Psychics" fail every time. Spirit mediums produce "ectoplasm" (i.e. chiffon fabric) from their pockets and push tin trumpets around table-tops with sticks (in the dark), but they ALWAYS fail to produce any spirits.
"Super-natural phenomena?" It just doesn't happen! If you wish to believe otherwise, well, all I can say is that you're a fool. The real universe is amazing enough without believing it is a magical place where gurus leviated, ascended masters talk to people through mediums via spirit guides, the diseased and the dying get healed by prayer, and spoons get bent by merely willing them to bend. I wish the universe did work that way, but it does not.