- The fact that “magic tricks” of various types can be used to “simulate” it necessarily means that genuine study is extremely difficult (verging on almost total impossibility.)
The first criterion of any good “study” would be to have at least one individual on staff whose sole function, organizationally is to point out ways that the phenomenon in question could be faked — and then design “tests” to ensure that those methodologies are impossible to do, during the “demonstration”.
For example: if the “test” is about spoon-bending/influencing mechanical watches, etc. — the “psychic” should be required to submit to exactly the sort of strip-search/cavity search to which prisoners are subjected, after visitation.
Moreover, the ‘test” should be administered with the “psychic” naked, in a setting other than their own home, on ‘stage”, a TV talk-show, etc.
Uri Geller’s total implosion on The Tonight Show should serve as a minimum standard in this regard.
2. IF true, the claim that “psi” is dependent on the emotional state of the “psychic” (and is thus, too “fickle” to function under such “unfavorable” circumstances), is both convenient and worrisome
It is “convenient” (for the would-be fraudster), both because it gives them an all-purpose “cop out” (useful for “explaining” why they fail rigorous tests, but “succeed” during TV appearances, etc.).
It is worrisome, because no other human skill is nearly this fickle and “mood”-dependent.
Think about it: if somebody stuck a gun to my head, and ordered me to make a blog entry — I might do worse at typing, but I would still exhibit some level of “performance” above a non-typist who was merely smashing the keyboard repeatedly, at random.
This is particularly problematic, in that many psychics/spiritualists/gurus/fraudsters make a big pretense about “aligning their vibrations”, or “calmness”, or whatever other new-age buzzwords they invoke. If they are incapable of performing (even badly) under stress, then this really isn’t that much of an “ability”.
3. Most damningly; It is often claimed (by fraudsters) that the mere presence of skeptics is enough to prevent them from being able to “perform”. Again, this indicates to me — IF we’re dealing with anything other than outright scam-artistry), that their “powers” are AMAZINGLY EASY TO “SHIELD” AGAINST.
The mere presence of a rational person is enough to “block” it? GOOD. Maybe — if “debunkers”/skeptics spread the word about these bullshit-artists, they’ll eventually be out of a “job”. (When your “job” consists of preying on the ignorance, gullibility and desperation of your victims — then you are a scum-bag, pure and simple.