Hello again people of Think Atheist.

It's been a while since I last logged on, at least to contribute in any form. I'm back again with a problem, which I hope people here may be able to help me with.

I was at my cousins house the other day and, for the third consecutive visit, the conversation came to a mystic/fortune teller my family have all been going to and seem quite impressed with. On this visit one of my cousins were there who is big into anything supernatural (loves the stuff). They gave me their personal story's of their visits and some 'bewildered sceptic' story’s about other family members.

Anyway, the suggestion was that I should go, that my disbelief without experiencing this was 'very Christian'. I resisted for a time, pointing out that if i went and was impressed by what she knew or could figure out that was all well and good, but was not evidence of anything supernatural. In the end, as I didn't want to lose any friends among family, and because I had been subjected to a barrage of this non sense for at least an hour at this point I agreed to go so long as I could bring at least two other people, one of which would have a camera.

This where I hope TA can help, mostly with advice, but if anyone on TA lives close by, It would be great to have them come along on the day. I feel I need advice as I'm sure this lady is very good at what she does, I want to be able to cover 'tells' and be able to pick up on her leading questions etc better.

If anyone has any thoughts please do share, and if anyone is in or near Northern Ireland and would like to be involved please let me know.

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I think you need to re-post this in plain text, as I can only read it if I highlight it.  If you copy and paste everything into Notepad, and then re-copy and paste that, you'll be OK. 

thanks for pointing that out, it's fixed now.

Will you go along with an open mind? 

I would say so, but it depends what you mean by 'open' if she says something I cant explain, that's all well and good.  When she says she knew because a spirit told her, I wouldn't be so sure.

Just because you can do something I can't explain, doesn't mean I should accept any explanation for how its done.  Does that constitute a closed mind? if so I guess I'm closed minded.

I know I'll probably get shot down in flames, but I went to see a psychic (who uses tarot cards) 9 years ago and many of her (very specific) predictions came true.  I saw her again in June this year and I'm waiting as an experiment to see what comes true.  So far, so good, but she didn't predict much for this period. 

I wouldn't see any reason to shoot someone down in any kind of flames for their sharing of expediences.  That said, it's one persons experience, and I don't even trust my own, that's why I'm here with this problem.  

The way I see it, no one is above the misinterpretation of their own experience, for one reason or another, whether that's manipulation, excessive emotion, or whatever else. Personally I feel I'd be quite self aggrandizing to assume that I was.

For this reason I hope you understand me discounting your anecdotal evidence on this topic, but as a matter of interest do let me know what else that your 'psychic' said that came true.

Hi David! We missed you!!!

I just want to clarify, do you think that you might go and actually believe it? They feed off your vulnerabilities, and usually are good at reading them. When they start running their game just remember that they can smell fear.....all emotions actually. But you must get ahold of your fear so that you can think clearly if you want to see and understand it. They can tell a lot about you just by looking at you. That is nothing supernatural. It's basic human instinct perfected.

Do you really WANT to go?

I don't really want to go, and if it had been any of my friends asking me to go, I'd have told them where to go and what to do when they got there.  This is family however, and they were very keen for me to give it a go.  I made sure, and would do again before hand, that if I wasn't impressed that they would drop it and not put it down to 'closed eyes see nothing'.

I really don't think that this experience will shift any of my world views, and though I'm sure she'l pick up on my vulnerabilities and insecurities, I couldn't see that impressing me much, a good therapist can do that. I'd rather treat this as an investigation, hence the camera and other skeptic's coming along to observe.

My first thought was do they even allow themselves to be recorded? They might not.... Not sure.... It would be so cool if you posted the video on TA, would make for a GREAT follow up discussion!!!

It seems in this case, she will.  One of my cousins (a self professed skeptic) said that she suggested he have a camera because of his skepticism.

I see this as a great opportunity if people with the know how get involved, I know some really level headed people that have been impressed by her, so whatever methods she uses should be recorded and looked at if they are that effective.

A good experiment has controls; ask her about a few people who don't exist....You have to be good at bluffing because these people are expert body language readers and use statistics like an insurance actuary.

It's interesting that you should say that, I have had two ideas for how I could enter the meeting.  I would refer to these as a 'stone wall' approach, and a 'false persona' approach.  I'm sure you can work out what each would entail, but i'm still undecided as to which.  What I have thought as they are mutually exclusive and I have to decide one which before hand.

Ether way, one meeting wouldn't constitute an in depth experiment, so having it be well recorded might help what we miss by repetition of trials.  Surely if she can really do what she says, it should be made public, and it what she does impresses a few of us, within a year it would be.


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