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Re: Universal medicine
Posted by: MacReady ()
Date: April 16, 2012 06:30AM

A note of clarification on the alcohol issue: Serge teaches that drinking alcohol allows 'astral entities' to 'possess' the drinker and drain his/her kidney energy. These entities will apparently go after anyone in the immediate vicinity, which is why UM advises students to avoid pubs or events where alcohol is being consumed. Parents are warned that drinking alcohol will allow these entities will go after their children. Apparently entities are most active between the hours of 9pm - 3am, which is why students are advised to be asleep during this time.

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Re: Universal medicine
Posted by: frodobaggins ()
Date: April 16, 2012 02:22PM

Thanks for that clarification Macready. I was wondering what the bizzare reason was. UM students are obsessive over this to the point of not only wanting to avoid areas where alcohol is consumed but they physically will not even touch a bottle or product that has it. Perfume falls into this category or any sauces that may contain wine. They claim serge teaches them to "feel" into the integrity of products. ie- feel into a product to see if it posses gluten or dairy as an example.

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Re: Universal medicine
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 16, 2012 09:55PM

Man, if you go to bed between 9 pm to 3 am and avoid any place whatsoever where alcohol is served, lets see what happens:

One can only attend matinee movies, plays and concerts (if these are meet UM standards?)

One must avoid markets, department stores restaurants, pubs, festivals, family events and any church where wine is used as part of the Holy Sacrament.

You end up only with UM people as buddies.

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Re: Universal medicine
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 17, 2012 12:14AM

Note from Corboy:

I keep farmers hours (In bed earlier than 9 pm and up at 5 am), but thats my body type and physiology, not because I fret about picking up astral cooties.

If up later than 9 pm, I am a mess. Have observed this many times.

And its with regret that to stay balanced, I have had opt for earlier bedtimes than the social norm and forgo a lot of interesting night time events.

But for persons who are physiologically equipped to thrive staying up later at night, its a sad thing to miss out on interesting artistic events and friendships because someone is peddling fears about astral cooties.

And its a very adroit fear to peddle.

One cannot disprove astral entities. They're in the realm of pseudoscience/urban myth.

But there is no shortage of news reports about bad things happening to people at night.

That isnt because of astral entities. Its just because police identify a lot of misbehaving people at night.

And the terrors of alcohol fostering alleged astral invasion--thats also fake science/urban myth.

Some persons do poorly with alcohol. Period. That doesnt mean its evil all across the board.

There are plenty of recovering alcoholics who can stand alongside friends who are drinking and not have any trouble.

However the news coverage given when talented people get arrested drunk or die tragically young due to alcohol merely inflame the fears fostered that alcohol invites invasion by unproveable astral entities.

Some persons have tragedies around alcohol. That doesnt mean its demonic.

It means some humans have genetic troubles combined with personal fragilities.

Turning night and alcohol into something that attracts astral cooties just breeds fears that are reinforced by what is typically reported on the news.

Leonardo da Vinci didnt live a constricted life. And he lived in a time far more dangerous than our own. Northern and Central Italy were ruled by warlords, roads were full of bandits, armies marched back and forth because France and Spain and local lords were combining and recombining troops to get advantages.

Lethal epidemics and famine conditions recurred.

But Leonardo drank his wine, despite that. And one of his jobs was to work as an engineer for the Duke of Milan and some of his drawings were for military engines.

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Re: Universal medicine
Posted by: RodH ()
Date: April 17, 2012 06:06AM

Hello from Down-Under!

My original post on 12 April on this forum was to provide some perspective as a Universal Medicine student. My intention was to post once, however as there have been some questions (and criticisms) raised then I feel a responsibility to respond to those.

As you noticed on my initial post I was quite upfront to declare who I am and not hide behind a pseudonym. Why? Because I have nothing to hide. There is nothing more special about me or UM students than anyone else in this world.

To Frodobaggins

So first I’ll respond to Frodobaggins...is it ok I call you Frodo for short? Your comments first – then my responses.

Thanks for the post Rod! My question to you is.... What makes Serge "know it all" What makes him more connected then the other thousand "gurus" out there who claim to know the answer.

I can’t answer that question. Surely that is a question you would have to ask Serge.

Very arrogant to assume UM members live with integrity and the rest of us don't.

I’m afraid that is your assumption – not mine. My words were: "The students are a group of people who are learning lessons about life and energetic integrity – yet still have their ‘stuff’ and issues like anyone else does." Does that imply that you or anyone else does not have integrity Frodo...of course it doesn’t.

Lets look at Serge issue with alcohol. Lets take a grape and then we ferment it and then it becomes wine ( a basic description). It comes from nature and the wine isn't the issue in the end. I have Many friends who can enjoy a glass of wine over dinner and don't turn into drunks. You don't need to follow UM to know that binge drinking is bad for you and why do those who choose to enjoy a single beer have to endure such scare mongering. I must note that i am a non drinker for my own personal reasons however i certainly don't judge or think my friends lack integrity because they enjoy a wine occasionally over dinner or lunch.

A wise man once said, “God forgives.” A wiser man said, “God does not forgive because he doesn’t judge in the first place”.

Because a person makes a decision not to drink alcohol, that does not extrapolate to mean they judge others who do...after all, how could they judge another for something that they had previously done in their life. It’s like an ex-smoker criticising a smoker – hypocritical.

And I agree, you don’t need to follow Unimed to know about the affects of alcohol. In my case, Unimed’s presentations gave me more understanding about the energetic affects of alcohol on my body, which in turn made it easier for me to give up and stay away from it. There is no scaremongering involved here.

By the way...I love the contention that wine’s ok because it’s natural. So is grape juice. Other natural based products are heroin, tobacco, marihuana and cyanide. And why don’t we give wine to kids (well perhaps some do)...because we know it’s bad for them.

All I’m doing here is pointing out some truths...without judgement.

So Serge has an issue with wine because it possesses bad energy! Hypocritical because UM members still eat Lamb.

Lets look at a cute little lamb. We shove it in a cage.... stunned by electric shock and then we slit its throat and then 1 week later its on our dinner plate.

If UM's mandate is to be "all loving" then why is it ok to eat lamb yet not drink wine? Surely killing an animal is BAD energy is it not?

I am actually a meat eater but this is only ONE of the hypocrisy's of UM.


I’m a meat eater too Frodo, including lamb...and have never had a hangover from lamb :)

And Rod i know as do many others first hand what happens when you don't join your partner in following Serge's baseless belief structure. You say your encouraged to stay integrated into society yet in the same sentence you explain you don't go anywhere there is alcohol.

You have misquoted me Frodo. I did not say I don’t go anywhere there is alcohol. Here’s the quote I think you’re referring to: "In my case there was some resistance from a couple of relatives but after a while they got over it and we all got on with it. We also noticed that party invitations dropped off when some realised we had stopped drinking (grog). That’s life."

Does that say I don’t go anywhere there is alcohol? Two weeks ago I was invited to a comedy night at a fundraiser at a local school where there was a bar set-up and people were drinking grog. Big deal...I didn’t take it on. A couple of months previously I attended a lunchtime function which related to my work where most people were drinking alcohol that was included in the price. Although I wasn’t drinking it didn’t stop me from having an enjoyable evening and shock, horror...I even spoke to many of those people. However, my preference is not to go to the pub or club anymore…I’d prefer to see a movie or go to a restaurant or catch up with friends.

There are many UM students who work in restaurants, bars and as airline stewards whose jobs involve serving and pouring alcohol. We don’t run away from life...we embrace life and get out there amongst it. How could you serve if you are insular or secluded? That goes against all UM teachings.

I also discovered that changing my sleeping patterns (where I now like to be asleep by 9pm and get up around 4am) is much more beneficial for me and I am more productive with my life. If I occasionally stay up later (e.g. the comedy night) it’s not an issue. Learning about the benefits of these sleeping patterns was a great lesson from Unimed. The reason I choose these sleeping patterns has nothing to do with some theory related to entities.

So when a friend invites you to a BBQ or dinner your partner chooses not to come because people will be drinking. UM doesn't like sporting competition so when you want to go and watch a sporting event your partner won't come because of this stupid belief that competition is bad energy. I could go on and on and continue to point out the flaws in this cult.

This is a difficult one Frodo and certainly not confined to UM students. When a partner decides to make changes in their life it can be difficult for the other and taken personally, as a rejection. I guess there’s a choice to either accept the choices the partner makes or to reject their choices. With the latter, it would probably make living arrangements difficult. For what it’s worth, my advice if someone did not want to separate from their partner would be to go to the barbecues alone and enjoy friends’ company and simply let them know that their partner had chosen not to be around when people are drinking alcohol. Couples don’t have to live in each other’s pockets.

It’s the same with sport – continue to go and enjoy it. I do, even though my wife isn’t into sport. But I must admit I don’t watch as nearly as much as I used to because I find a lot of sport now is quite repetitious (like Groundhog Day).

Finally, why would anyone trust a guy to deliver the "truth" who claims to be 3 times reincarnated ( of course all famous people) and claim to have the power to interpret your dreams. Surely that ALONE would ring alarm bells with people.

I trust Serge...but then again I believe I’ve reincarnated many times over and will continue to do so. If that makes me wacky, then so be it.

To MacReady

Hi Macready...hope you don’t mind me calling you Mac.

Incidentally, when I was about 13 living in a small country town called Cootamundra, I had a sheep called Mac – a Merino-Border Leicester cross that used to like to butt me. Perhaps there’s a parallel here :)

Hello Rod and thank you for sharing your experiences with UM. A few points if I may:

As you say, in all religions there are truths that have been altered by men to suit their needs. Possibly so, but this critique applies equally to Serge's belief system, since it consists of a grab-bag of second-hand Buddhist ideas, deities from the Hindu pantheon, mixed up with Alice A. Bailey's bizarre New Age concepts, but all altered just enough for him to copyright it as his own and rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. All with zero evidence that any of the elements he has chosen from said religions are indeed the 'true' parts, as they are no more or less provable or far-fetched than any other part.


You are correct...so much cannot be proven and that’s what makes these discussions interesting because you or I or anyone else cannot categorically stand up and say “this is absolute truth”. It’s really an individual’s choice about what they believe in or feel is for them. I feel truth in the lessons from UM – others don’t, however I respect other's choices.

Regarding 'God being within' and 'Not needing a building, rituals or readings to access', I have no problem with these assertions, but they don't really apply to UM despite all the rhetoric. If they did, nobody would need Serge's clinics, workshops and retreats, they wouldn't need his convoluted religious writings, his magical healing symbols, the ritualistic lifestyle recommendations (sleep only between certain hours, UM approved yoga, UM approved meditation, UM approved exercise, UM approved music, UM approved dance etc). Essentially you wouldn't need Universal Medicine.

With God within, I agree nobody ‘needs’ any of these things. However I have found that the workshops and retreats have been very beneficial to my life and given me a greater awareness and understanding about myself and, more importantly, how I can be of service to others. The modalities taught by UM (which have been formally approved) have benefitted many people who have no association with UM.

As for the claim of there being 'no adoration of Serge' this is far from the truth. At the workshops there were always some students hovering around him (including children) for a chance to give him a hug.

I have to pull you up on this one Mac. Most people who hover around Serge after meetings are there to ask a question...or to debate something that has been brought up. As a by-product they might havahug. To that I say “fantastic”...there should be lots more hugging in this world, rather than people holding back their love from others.

The homes of every student I met were full of Serge's magical healing symbols (which only work because it was Serge who 'brought them through' from the Hierarchy), Da Vinci's artwork (which Serge claims to have painted in a previous life), Serge quotes on walls and doors, Serge's books and health products. Moreover, every person I know who adheres to the UM belief system cannot go long without dropping a Serge quote in conversation or otherwise speaking of him in adoring terms. They also all imitate his phrasing and terminology. I've never heard any UM follower apply any serious critical questioning or logic to any of his claims. Ever. His every word is accepted as indisputable divine fact.

You know I’ve been to houses that have crosses on the wall, Jewish and Muslim symbols and Buddhist statues (there’s a happy Buddha right next to me). Is it really that important? And if someone likes another does that really matter.

The above negates the assertion that 'the claim that UM is a cult is completely false'. If all it consisted of were some healthy lifestyle recommendations, his clinic and the healing/massage techniques taught in the workshops you might have a point. However, given that everything UM presents is based on the claim that Serge is a multi-reincarnated holy messenger (in communication with a parliament of heavenly spirit Lords living in Shamballa who have a divine plan for humanity), and the only living human being presenting the true path to God, the contention that UM is a cult is quite accurate.

Mac, I’m not here to debate the various teachings of UM and who Serge is or was because that would be far too time consuming - but I do accept the teachings unreservedly. And the books and recordings are quite accessible to all.

But how can an organisation that does not tell you what to do and encourages free-will to make thoroughly informed choices be a cult? So many very intelligent people have changed their lives for a whole lot better as a result of Unimed. Are they brainwashed? Do you really think a professor of university or a whole lot of other PHD holders along with so many lawyers, doctors and professionals can be tricked?

Mac, obviously you reject UM, so it’s easy to build a case by carefully selecting what you believe will justify your convictions...and that’s ok. It’s quite easy to do the same for any religion or organisation (we don’t have to search far on Google to see that).

And while I respect our differences of opinion, I find it is unfortunate throughout this forum that there are many inaccuracies, misrepresentations and false assumptions made about UM. This has even happened with the single post I lodged a few days ago (as I pointed out above).

But at the end of the day, if you want to go through all the various temporal definitions of a ‘cult’ and you can categorically say that Unimed is a cult...then so be it.

The work that is being done on culteducation.com does expose evil, corruption and sinister organisations. The true question that has to be asked about an organisation is: does it harm or does it heal. A look at Universal Medicine with an open heart will reveal the latter.

Now that I’ve addressed the comments from Frodo and Mac I’d like to share a story with you.

A few years ago my stepdaughter broke up with her boyfriend (his choice) and she was devastated. Her friends supported her and they all said how he was a bastard to do that to her. When my stepdaughter told her mother (my wife) this, her mother said to her ‘no he isn’t a bastard…the reason he broke up with you was because you treated him so badly’. My stepdaughter reacted and said ‘how can you possibly say that…you’re my mother and you’re supposed to support me like my friends do’. Her mum said, ‘no, I’m here to tell you the truth so you can learn from that’.

The reason I mention this is because I see in this forum resentment towards UM because some people are bitter because their partners have left them and they have looked for something else to blame…hence Unimed is a great target.

I don’t like to see any relationship falling apart…it’s difficult for those involved. But if you hold that bitterness and resentment within your body don't let it go, it will eat away at you and manifest sometime down the track as an illness or disease. Nobody should have to deal with that if it’s preventable...so why not look after yourself?

Is there a sense of belonging and support within Universal Medicine? Yes there is. And is there a sense of belonging and support within this forum? I suggest there is. We’re not very far removed from each other gentlemen and I do wish you well.

But now it’s time for me to let go and remove myself from this forum. Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinion.

Perhaps we’ll catch up again one day…if not this life, then maybe the next one :)

With love…
Rod Harvey

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Re: Universal medicine
Posted by: frodobaggins ()
Date: April 17, 2012 10:57AM

Thanks for the patronizing post Rod. You completely missed the point about UM hypocritical teachings. My point is why is drinking wine such bad energy yet serge has no problems in us killing animals. Surely taking the life of a living creature is bad energy? I'm still yet to hear a logical explanation to this. Another example- how is it that all these things posses bad energy yet he has no problem with us using products from countries that have been made with slave labour?? Wouldn't these bad entities pass on?

Rod, I know the extent that serges teachings have on people. I was in a relationship with someone who obsessed over it. Am I on here out of bitterness and resentment? Definitely not and it's wrong of you to assume such a thing. I have maintained a great friendship with that person for last 6 months. The purpose of this forum is so that other people who come across this belief system can get another opinion and not feel isolated when their partner changes beyond recognition. I have watched my partner who previously loved yoga, and many other recreational sports completely stop and turn into a slow and distant person. When I was able to convince her to come for a run with me (which she loved) she would then feel guilty for days because she wasn't gentle enough with her body. I watched as she isolated herself from many social things because of the issue of alcohol. Can I remind you Rod I don't drink but not because of bad energy. Last time I looked a glass or 2 of wine didn't give my friends a hang over but really that's not UM real issue with alcohol. Macready has already given us the explanation into that. Also the last time I checked gluten, sugar and dairy don't give people a hang over either. Sure if we have excessive amounts we get fat but that's hardly a revelation UM can make claim too. Oh that's right it has bad energy too.

The biggest issue with serge is not necessarily his lifestyle recommendations but his baseless reasoning behind them and his total disrespect for other belief systems. His mandate is to be all loving yet there is no tolerance shown for others belief structures. In order to follow UM you must give up all other beliefs you have.

Its also convenient you use doctors and PHD holders to further your justification of UM yet are critical of these very professions when the time suits your cause.

The facts are Serge is a clever businessman who is making a lot of money out of people searching for big answers. I live in a world where I want proof when it comes to people making claims. Any kind of claims. So to Serge I Say.... If you are truly reincarnated- PROVE IT!!! If your $20 cards help clear energy.... PROVE IT!!!!! cos I have sat on those cards and I don't "feel" a thing. Your outlandish claims and predictions about the world changing in 2400 years - PROVE IT!!!!
Your negligent dream readings - PROVE IT!!!! And let me say his dream readings are mind blowing. He has a truly imaginative mind. You say you know where the reincarnated hitler lives - simple..... PROVE IT!!! That's all I'm asking.... Just prove on of these statements.

The fact he makes predictions based in 2400 years is clever - none of us will be around to see if he is right.

Rod in all honesty I'm agnostic. So I believe there is more to life then this but as far as I'm concerned we are all looking at the same house with different doors. What I object too is anyone taking advantage of people and claiming to have greater powers or connections then the rest of us. So I'm glad serge is all loving... But serge do it in a way that not fleecing people of their money. After all you are completely against capitalism.

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Re: Universal medicine
Posted by: frodobaggins ()
Date: April 17, 2012 11:02AM

Rod this line just floored me

I asked you In another post....

Thanks for the post Rod! My question to you is.... What makes Serge "know it all" What makes him more connected then the other thousand "gurus" out there who claim to know the answer.

Your response was.....

I can’t answer that question. Surely that is a question you would have to ask Serge.




Rod its actually a question for you because you need to know the answer to that in order to show the faith you do in a person. If you can't answer that then I'm afraid it's blind faith.

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Re: Universal medicine
Posted by: frodobaggins ()
Date: April 17, 2012 11:16AM

I would like to point out one of the subtle things with UM members that might go unnoticed. All UM students sign off from emails and letters with --- "with love". I don't have an issue with the gesture because it comes with good intentions but I'm pointing it out in case readers of this forum thinks its a little over the top. It's just what they do. Serge says and it gets applied

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Re: Universal medicine
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 17, 2012 09:49PM

In case people have had dream interpretations or mind readings from Serge or some other "adept" and are convinced that person "read their minds" there is a more mundane explanation.

It is called cold reading.

Quote

cold reading
"In the course of a successful reading, the psychic may provide most of the words, but it is the client that provides most of the meaning and all of the significance." --Ian Rowland (2000: 60)
Note: to understand cold reading you must understand subjective validation.

Cold reading refers to a set of techniques used by professional manipulators to get a subject to behave in a certain way or to think that the cold reader has some sort of special ability that allows him to "mysteriously" know things about the subject. ("These techniques are not taught in St Mary MBA or RN to BSN online courses.") Cold reading goes beyond the usual tools of manipulation: suggestion and flattery. In cold reading, salespersons, hypnotists, advertising pros, faith healers, con men, and some therapists bank on their subject's inclination to find more meaning in a situation than there actually is. The desire to make sense out of experience can lead us to many wonderful discoveries, but it can also lead us to many follies. The manipulator knows that his mark will be inclined to try to make sense out of whatever he is told, no matter how farfetched or improbable. He knows, too, that people are generally self-centered, that we tend to have unrealistic views of ourselves, and that we will generally accept claims about ourselves that reflect not how we are or even how we really think we are but how we wish we were or think we should be. He also knows that for every several claims he makes about you that you reject as being inaccurate, he will make one that meets with your approval; and he knows that you are likely to remember the hits he makes and forget the misses.

Thus, a good manipulator can provide a reading of a total stranger, which will make the stranger feel that the manipulator possesses some special power. For example, Bertram Forer has never met you, yet he offers the following cold reading of you:

Some of your aspirations tend to be pretty unrealistic. At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary and reserved. You have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. You pride yourself on being an independent thinker and do not accept others' opinions without satisfactory proof. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety, and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. Disciplined and controlled on the outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure on the inside.

Your sexual adjustment has presented some problems for you. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a strong need for other people to like you and for them to admire you.
Here's another reading that you might find fairly accurate about you:

People close to you have been taking advantage of you. Your basic honesty has been getting in your way. Many opportunities that you have had offered to you in the past have had to be surrendered because you refuse to take advantage of others. You like to read books and articles to improve your mind. In fact, if you're not already in some sort of personal service business, you should be. You have an infinite capacity for understanding people's problems and you can sympathize with them. But you are firm when confronted with obstinacy or outright stupidity. Law enforcement would be another field you understand. Your sense of justice is quite strong.
The last one was from astrologer Sidney Omarr. He's never even met you and yet he knows so much about you (Randi 1982: 61). The first one was taken by Forer from a newsstand astrology book.

The selectivity of the human mind is always at work. We pick and choose what data we will remember and what we will give significance to. In part, we do so because of what we already believe or want to believe. In part, we do so in order to make sense out of what we are experiencing. We are not manipulated simply because we are gullible or suggestible, or just because the signs and symbols of the manipulator are vague or ambiguous. Even when the signs are clear and we are skeptical, we can still be manipulated. In fact, it may even be the case that particularly bright persons are more likely to be manipulated when the language is clear and they are thinking logically. To make the connections that the manipulator wants you to make, you must be thinking logically.

Not all cold readings are done by malicious manipulators. Some readings are done by astrologers, graphologists, tarot readers, New Age healers, and people who genuinely believe they have paranormal powers. They are as impressed by their correct predictions or "insights" as are their clients and patients. We should remember, however, that just as scientists can be wrong in their predictions, so pseudoscientists and quacks can sometimes be right in theirs.

There seem to be three common factors in these kinds of readings. One factor involves fishing for details. The psychic says something at once vague and suggestive, e.g., "I'm getting a strong feeling about January here." If the subject responds, positively or negatively, the psychic's next move is to play off the response. E.g., if the subject says, "I was born in January" or my mother died in January" then the psychic says something like "Yes, I can see that," anything to reinforce the idea that the psychic was more precise that he or she really was. If the subject responds negatively, e.g., "I can't think of anything particularly special about January," the psychic might reply, "Yes, I see that you've suppressed a memory about it. You don't want to be reminded of it. Something painful in January. Yes, I feel it. It's in the lower back [fishing]...oh, now it's in the heart [fishing]...umm, there seems to be a sharp pain in the head [fishing]...or the neck [fishing]." If the subject gives no response, the psychic can leave the area, having firmly implanted in everybody's mind that the psychic really did 'see' something but the subject's suppression of the event hinders both the psychic and the subject from realizing the specifics of it. If the subject gives a positive response to any of the fishing expeditions, the psychic follows up with more of "I see that very clearly, now. Yes, the feeling in the heart is getting stronger."

Fishing is a real art and a good mentalist carries a variety of bait in his memory. For example, professional mentalist and author of one of the best books on cold reading, Ian Rowland (2002), says that he has committed to memory such things as the most common male and female names and a list of items likely to be lying about the house such as an old calendar, a photo album, newspaper clippings, and so on. Rowland also works on certain themes that are likely to resonate with most people who consult psychics: love, money, career, health, and travel. Since cold reading can occur in many contexts, there are several tactics Rowland covers. But whether one is working with astrology, graphology, palmistry, psychometry, rumpology, or Tarot cards, or whether one is channeling messages from the dead as many mediums claim to be doing, there are specific techniques one can use to impress clients with one’s ability to know things that seem to require paranormal powers.

Another characteristic of these readings is that many claims are put in vague statement form ("I'm getting a warm feeling in the crotch area") or in the form of a question ("I sense that you have strong feelings about someone in this room. Am I right?") Most, but not all, of the specific claims are provided by the subject himself.

Some experts on cold reading emphasize paying attention to body language and such things as the dress of the client.

The reader begins with generalities which are applicable to large segments of the population. He or she pays careful attention to reactions: words, body language, skin color, breathing patterns, dilation or contraction of the pupils of the eye, and more. The subject of the reading will usually convey important information to the reader: sometimes in words, and sometimes in bodily reactions to the reading.

From observation, the reader will feed back to the subject what the latter wants to hear. That is the overwhelming guiding principle of the mystics: Tell 'em what they want to hear. That will keep them coming back for more (Steiner 1989: 21).
Also, those occasions where the psychic has guessed wrongly about the subject are likely to be forgotten by the subject and the audience. What will be remembered are the seeming hits, giving the overall impression of "wow, how else could she have known all this stuff unless she is psychic." This same phenomenon of suppression of contrary evidence and selective thinking is so predominant in every form of psychic demonstration that it seems to be related to the old psychological principle: a man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest.

cold reading and contacting the dead

Many cold readings do not involve fishing, vagueness, or wild guessing. The key to a successful cold reading is the willingness, ability, and effort of the client to find meaning and significance in the words of the psychic, astrologer, palm reader, medium, or the like. A medium claiming to get messages from the dead might throw out a string of ambiguous images to the client. Father figure, the month of May, the Big-H, an H with an N sound, Henna, Henry, M, maybe Michael, teaching, books, maybe something published. This list could mean different things to different people. To some people it probably has no meaning. The client will either connect these dots or she won't. Clients of mediums who claim to get messages from the dead are very highly motivated clients. Not only do they have an implicit desire for immortality, they have an explicit desire to contact a dear loved one who has died. The odds are in favor of the medium that the client will find meaning in many different sets of ambiguous words and phrases. If she connects just a couple of them, she may be satisfied that the medium has made a connection to a dead relative. If she doesn't find any meaning or significance in the string, the medium still wins. He can try another string. He can insist that there's meaning here but the client just isn't trying hard enough to figure it out. He can suggest that some uninvited spirit guests are confusing the issue. It's a win-win situation for the medium because the burden is not on him but on the client to find the meaning and significance of the words.

Successful cold readings are sometimes a testament to the skills of the reader, but they are always a testament to the ability of human beings to make sense out of the most disparate of data. The skill of cold reading can be honed and turned into an art, as it is by professionals who work as mediums, palm readers, astrologers, and the like. It has also been argued that criminal profiling and reading Rorschach ink blots use these same techniques. Many of these professionals may not even realize what they are doing and attribute their high rate of client satisfaction to the validity of profiling, the Rorschach, astrology, or palmistry. Some may believe their success is due to their psychic or intuitive powers. They may come to believe in the reality of the spirit world by becoming convinced that meaningful signals from beyond sometimes rise above the noise of daily life and are detected by skilled mediums. Some of these professionals know what they are doing and they deceive the public, if not themselves. Other professionals (mentalists) know what they are doing but they tell their clients or audiences that they need no paranormal or supernatural powers to accomplish their feats.

In evaluating cold reading, it is a common mistake to focus mainly on the reader rather than the sitter (the one for whom the reading is done). Gary Schwartz seems to have done this in his work that led up to the book The Afterlife Experiments: Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Life After Death. He seems to think that if he can eliminate trickery, deceit, and fraud on the part of the mediums in his experiments, then he has eliminated cold or hot reading as a viable explanation for the validation by sitters of their readings. He makes this point throughout his book and emphasizes it in a paper he and others published in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research:

Because the sitter-silent condition provides no verbal/semantic feedback to the mediums as well as minimal non-verbal feedback (save for possible sighs or breathing information from the sitters), the sitter-silent condition eliminates the plausibility of 'cold reading' as a probable explanation for the findings. For this reason, the paper reports the data from the sitter-silent condition. These form the most compelling evidence for anomalous information retrieval.*
The sitter-silent condition (a.k.a. the Russek Protocol) lets the medium do a reading within hearing distance of the sitter but does not permit the medium to ask any questions or the sitter to make any responses during the reading.

It is evident from Forer's work and from tests done on college students who are given personality or astrological readings that it is not necessary to interrogate the client to get him or her to find meaning and significance in complete sentences that were not generated on the basis of any personal knowledge. It also seems evident that many people should be able to find meaning and significance in various strings of initials, names, descriptions of places, and so on. And, while it is true that some mediums use trickery, such as having accomplices in the audience or having detective work done on the sitter, it is not necessary. What many saw Rosemary Althea do at a "psychic reading" in a Penn & Teller Bullshit! episode, for example, is not required for a successful reading. Her agent brought two couples to the reading, both of whom had lost a child to suicide (guess what came through in their readings) and she chatted up a young man before the reading began who told her that he wanted to connect with his mother (guess who she connected to during the reading). In the same Bullshit! episode, Mark Edward (no relation to John Edward) did a successful reading for a woman without using any hot reading tricks. But even his method of fishing around for something the sitter can connect to isn't necessary for a successful reading.

The sitter is the key to the success of a reading by a medium and different mediums use different methods.

Watch Rosemary Althea & Mark Edward work


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Re: Universal medicine
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 17, 2012 10:53PM

Other Examples of Cold Reading

It is especially effective if the subject already has worries or guilt about something, anything.

Edward Lane published a book Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, in 1860, based on what he had learned by living several years in Cairo in the 1830s.

Here he described a method of fortune telling using a table of letters (called a zairgah), attributed to the prophet Enoch. Lane describes the table, and tells how the person seeking guidance recites important verses from the Koran (which places the persons mind in a serious frame. The seeker then without looking at the table points to it, sees which letter the finger is on, then moves the finger 5 places following it, writes the letter, then keeps going until reaching the spot in the table first selected.

"..these letters together compose the answer" Lane states. Now, here is the important point.

"it will be seen" Lane writes, "that the table gives only five answers; and that if we proceed as above directed, we must obtain one of these answers with whatever letter of the table we commence.

"It will also be observed, that the framer of the table, knowing that men very frequently wish to do what is wrong, and seldom to do what is right, and thit is generally safer for them to abstain when in doubt, has given but one affirmative answer, and four negative.
"

Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, Edward Lane, Everyman Edition, p 266--267


A vivid example of how "men very frequently wish to do what is wrong" -- or what they already fear is wrong for them to do, but are reluctant to stop doing.

In his memoir, One God Clapping,: The Spiritual Path of a Zen Rabbi Rabbi Alan Lew (now deceased), described a situation where he himself had been telling people's fortunes using a Ouija board.

(This was long before he was a rabbi, and back in the 1970s.)

Lew's readings had become very popular and a lot of people consulted him. He became exhausted. He seemed to be giving eerily accurate readings. One day someone made fun of him during the readings and Lew reacted by giving a vengeful reading.

Alan Lew's brother had become a disciple of another guru Rudrananda, aka Rudi. Because of the connection with his brother, Lew decided to go to a talk given by Rudi.

"In the middle of Rudi's talk, I foudn myself wanting to ask him about the Ouija board. ...As I sat there listening to Rudi now, a question formed inside my head. I desperately wanted to ask him all of this, but I was afraid to.

"All of a sudden, Rudi stopped in the middle of his talk and said, "Go ahead, ask the question."

No one said anything.

He said, "Go ahead. I feel someone needs to ask a question."

(Note Rudi's use of the word "I feel" This suggests he was psychic. But had Rudi said, "I see that someone wants to ask a question" that would have suggested the very much more mundane likelihood that he was observing body language, seeing that Lew or others were tense about something. Or just done this as a tactical manuver.

Lew continued.

"I didnt say anything. I was too afraid. Rudi said

"We're not going to go on until you ask the question. So ask the goddamn question."

(Corboy "You is collective, as well as personal. Its a high likelihood that someone in the group would have had a question. And...Rudi was holding the group hostage, refusing to go on with the talk until someone asked a question of some sort. Its a power move, folks. )

"I knew then that he was talking to me" Lew wrote. (No Lew didnt know. He was already burdened by a guilty conscience. Lots of us are burdened by guilty consciences. Corboy)

"There is this thing I've been doing and people have been coming to me, and Ive been asnwering their questions and--"

Rudi replied. "If you continue doing what you're doing, you'll be dead in a year."

Lew commented "I immediately saw the truth in what he was saying. I had been becoming more and more exhausted and depleted. I was putting out energy that I didnt know how to replace. It was like losing blood."

Lew assumed Rudi had read his mind.

As Edward Lane wrote in the pre-Freudian 1860s:

Quote

"men very frequently wish to do what is wrong, and seldom to do what is right, and th2t is generally safer for them to abstain when in doubt."

Another example, from Jerry Stahl's memoir Permanent Midnight

At the time of this incident, Stahl was moving into a heavy and degrading addiction to drugs. And came from a horrible background that left him shameridden about living, before he had even picked up and used anything.

Stahl tells us "even if I was not entirely cognizant of my swirling inner turmoil, others were.

In particular, in one of life’s stranger episodes, a pack of telepathic trance channelers I’d signed on to infiltrate in my past (gig as a reporter for Playboy magazine).

“The reigning spirit, at that time, was a blow dried shaman from Marin County (California—equivalent of Byron Bay, Australia –Corboy note) by the name of Lazaris.

“Unfortunately, “ Stahl writes “the day I hooked up with Lazaris, I was having a little opiate crisis.”

Stahl was getting seriously addicted to dope and his addiction was progressing at a fast clip.

“Which would have been fine, or at least endurable, on any other day. But not when you’re scheduled to meet a mind reader. You cant hide from a mind reader.

Stahl, facing the Lazaris channeller, craving more dope, is edgy, sensitive, sweating heavily. Describing his condition at the time he conducts his interview of Jach, channeler of Lazaris, Stahl notes of himself: That darn kick-sweat!

“"And for the first two and a half minutes (facing the channeler) it’s okay’ Stahl recalls. “Not pleasant, but allright. Like being trapped in a room with an acid tweaked Norman Vincent Peale. ...."

“"Until sudden as a summer storm, the jovial entity bolts forward and grips the arms of his chair. I think, Heart attack! I think Stroke! Then, off his love seat like a human cannon ball he hunkers over me, meaty paws on my shoulder, and lowers his apple cheeked shining visage inches from my own.

(Corboy note: This is classic dominance behavior. You see the equivalent in the dog park or when watching boxing or wrestling in Sports channel. And a sudden move would greatly startle anyone already tense, and scare someone stiff if that person is in drugs withdrawal and guilty about being addicted in the first place—and trying to hide that he’s writing an expose for Playboy magazine. But here Stahl assumed his aura wasbeing read)

“"We didn’t know,” he (Lazaris) cries. “We didn’t know!”“(Stahl)And there are I can see them, tiny tears in his eyes.

(Lazaris staring at Stahl)“We feel so much pain! We cannot continue! So much pain, we are sorry, but we do not feel…We cannot..The spirit does not choose to experience this at the present time”
(Stahl)With this he backs up, puts his poly blend bottom back on the hotel chair and smiles sadly.

We see dark colors. We see grave, grave negativity! We see…how shall we say this? We see you have a hole in your aura!”

Stahl tells us, “Dark colors I could have handled. Negativity was my bread and butter. But a hole in my aura? What in life prepares you for that kind of news? I stood up, (Stahl had apparently been crouching, he was that scared) watched in horror as the suit and tied sensitive twitched back to Jach, who now assumed his Regular Guy demeanor.

I had, I realized, been rejected by an all knowing entity. What does that tell you?

(What Stahl could not comprehend was that his own tension had been adroitly assessed and then mirrored back to him. Stahl provided plenty of clues a cold reader could have utilized. He was sweating heavily. He would have looked to be in pain—opiate addicts in early withdrawal suffer. He wore black, long sleeved shirts at this time and for many years to come—to hide the needle tracks in his arms. This was a major departure from the LA fashion norm at that time. The Jach the channeler could easily have picked up on the dark clothes and Stahl’s heavy sweating and tension as cues and worked them into the cold reading. But Stahl, burdened with terror thought his mind was being read. Corboy)

Jerry Stahl, Permanent Midnight pp 85-86

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