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.
"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:
"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