by Joel A. Moskowitz M.D.
Psychic Blues &
Hand Springs - Mark Edward
Mark Edward is an equivocator, fibber and mountebank. Which begs the question; if a liar admits to lying, can he be telling the truth? The opening deprecations of Mark Edward are entirely false. Rather, he is a literate, informative, intellectual, a student of the psychology of humans, a foe of those who would defraud the public for personal gain and as an author and practicing psychic, he is first and foremost, an entertainer. He has written two books, personally published (aka Mindscapes Unlimited), spiral bound, "Psychic Blues" Confessions from a Happy Medium. pp 241, (2007) and "Hand Springs" The Charleton's Book of Palmistry", pp 187. (release set for 2009) (read more)
Mark Edward Wilson is a much accomplished performing psychic who admits that he employs techniques: "a gift of gab plus a healthy dose of imagination...and nerve." Add to this an "acute insight", there are no supernatural muses whispering in his ear. Mark has shunned practices of fraudulent mediums who manipulate the gullible public for financial nefarious purposes. To his credit, he has been therapeutic for many who seek guidance from psychics.
For many years, he ‘performed' for The Psychic Friends Network" (a Dial 900 telephone "service".... remember Dion Warwick?). He waited until a non-disclosure agreement he signed - assuring his silence for ten years - to expire. He is now ready to share the how of his proficiency .
Mark Edward has followed his profession in many venues: television, with Penn and Teller in their ‘Bullsh**' series; trade shows; private readings. In a chapter entitled, "Talking to the Dead", the author reveals how pre-show work is employed to convince audiences that the clairvoyant actually has powers.
Working from the inside, Mark Edward is able to share, for example, that the "real magician on the psychic TV shows is the editor"...who by editing can make it seem like the readings are uncannily accurate.
Open and critical of psychic falsehoods, Mark Edward shares his distress that he has been misunderstood by magician colleagues and psychic investigators. For many years, with the blessing of Milt Larson, he performed in the Séance Room of The Magic Castle, an organization of which he was an admired member. He was an instructor and associate of C.S.I.C.O.P. (The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal) for this organization devoted to debunking false claims; he performed for "Skeptics Toolbox" class revealing tricks of the trade. Both associations were critical of his participation in an infomercial for The Psychic Friends Network. "Straddling the barbwire fence between the two extremes of skeptic and psychic has always been a high-wire act I have negotiated without a net" writes Mark Edward.
As a psychic, Mark Edward blended ambiguous verbalizations with artful sensitivity. Consider, for example, telling someone the missing earrings "These weren't antique earrings or family heirlooms were they?" How can this be answered but "Yes". Weren't they or were they? By incorporating these words it is confusingly either a statement or a question. Speaking in a low voice to a sitter "Do you hear my voice?" With the affirmative nods, seeming to the audience, the sitter is confirming that the psychic is right on.
Ethics of psychic entertainers may be an oxymoron. Scruples? Are mentalists magicians of the mind? Purists would reject using tricks. Edward is not ashamed. The author tells how he captivated listeners with a tale about a block of wood ostensibly from a mysterious ship...and amazingly it tips over! Contact your favorite magical supply house.
Mark devotes a chapter each to such diverse audience experiences as radio and Orange County? He describes his escapades among those who "Charge their pendulum" "use bananas as a divination device" and "skeptics who mesmerize psychics". Paradoxically, those who profess supernatural mental ability are vulnerable to be duped. It may be a biologic necessity for humans to believe in the unbelievable.
Being the best can be dangerous. Mark says a colleague of his in New Zealand (I am thinking of......Richard Webster...) made a referral. Admitting he is not a clinical psychologist, it takes special sensitivity to make the differential diagnosis of a curious person as compared to a "nutty and possibly dangerous sycophant". There are probably not too many insurance companies who offer ‘errors and omissions' and ‘hazardous duties' coverage to psychics.
Repeat sitters can be pressure. You would be best to keep a computer record of your ‘information' as a bulwark against goofs. But private readings going for more than what attorney's bill should offer sufficient compensation.
Quoting Eleanor Chaffee who is said to have counseled, "Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves" Mark begins his chapter on The Celebrity Syndrome. These special folk need special care and feeding. Agents are another delicate species described by this very literate author.
A theme much advocated about magical enthusiasts is the value of mentoring. "Psychic Blues" by Mark Edward is an entertaining education of this successful practitioner of the mental arts. A companion volume "Hand Springs - The Charlatan's Book of Palmistry" is as meritorious. Take two and call me in the morning!
Note the tongue in cheek cover, easily overlooked, where the usual palm map includes the first two fingers crossed! I predict that if you have read this far you will be compelled to dial up: www.themarkedward.com and the Skeptologists web and blog site; www.skeptologists.com. Write to Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in a copy.
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