Orson Welles TV - Andre Breton - David Myers -
I don’t like clairvoyants ... The flash of clairvoyance fails the fortune teller, and when that happens they’re fake. Orson Welles, interview The Parkinson Show 1973
I learnt cold readings. ibid.
A shut-eye is a fake fortune-teller who has begun to believe himself. ibid.
It is more or less a given that nothing is less favourable to clairvoyance than the bright sun: physical light and mental light coexist on very poor terms. André Breton, Anthology of Black Humor
The search for a valid and reliable test of clairvoyance has resulted in thousands of experiments. One controlled procedure has invited ‘senders’ to telepathically transmit one of four visual images to ‘receivers’ deprived of sensation in a nearby chamber (Bem & Honorton, 1994). The result? A reported 32 per cent accurate response rate, surpassing the chance rate of 25 per cent. But follow-up studies have (depending on who was summarizing the results) failed to replicate the phenomenon or produced mixed results (Bem & others, 2001; Milton & Wiseman, 2002; Storm, 2000, 2003).
One skeptic, magician James Randi, has a longstanding offer – now US $1 million – ‘to anyone who proves a genuine psychic power under proper observing conditions’. (Randi, 1999) French, Australian, and Indian groups have parallel offers of up to 200,000 euros to anyone with demonstrable paranormal abilities (CFI, 2003). Large as these sums are, the scientific seal of approval would be worth far more to anyone whose claims could be authenticated. To refute those who say there is no ESP, one need only produce a single person who can demonstrate a single, reproducible ESP phenomenon. So far, no such person has emerged. Randi’s offer has been publicized for three decades and dozens of people have been tested, sometimes under the scrutiny of an independent panel of judges. Still, nothing. ‘People’s desire to believe in the paranormal is stronger than all the evidence that it does not exist.’ (Susan Blackmore, ‘Blackmore’s first law’ 2004). David Myers, Psychology 2006