I’ve had a long time interest in the paranormal and try to keep an open mind about its existence. It’s not always easy. After studying magic for awhile you begin to realize how ridiculously vulnerable human perceptions are. Yesterday I said that when you remove the magician from the exhibition of a trick the magic is magnified. What I neglected to mention is that charlatans realized this long ago. Substitute “magician” with “psychic” and a nothing trick becomes a miracle. The context has been altered by a simple change of roles. People watch a magician and know it’s a trick. They watch a psychic and think it might be real.
While I’m interested in introducing a sense of ambiguity about what I’m doing, I don’t believe in saying outright that it’s real. There’s a definite line separating magician from charlatan; I want to dance on that invisible line but not cross it. I want to entertain and possibly open minds to the possibility of magic, not lie and advocate a specific belief system.
I found the video below after watching one of the famous Russian psychic Nina Kulagina posted at Intensely Magic. I’d gone to YouTube to see what other footage they might have of her, and this is one of the videos that came up. Titled, “Replication of Nina Kulagina Telekinesis Feats,” I figured it was going to be a video of some magician exposing the rather crude methods she’d employed. But I was wrong.
Apparently the person who filmed this would have us believe it’s an actual demonstration of psychokinetic powers. What really amazed me is that the people commenting believe him! Now, I imagine that anyone reading this blog will see that this person’s powers are total bullshit. For anyone with doubts, I’ve been immersed in the study and practice of visual mentalism for a few years now and can state with absolute certainty that it’s one hundred percent fake. It’s not even a very good fake – if this guy were a magician he’d starve because his deceptions fall apart under anything more than casual scrutiny. Because the context has been changed, however, because he’s playing a psychic and not a magician, people overlook the obvious explanations.
I think there’s a lesson there for us all.