Predicting The Future
Dan began his nightclub act by honestly explaining to his audience that he had no psychic skills that he was aware of, used no electronic devices or helpers to accomplish his mental feats and that his act was, in no way, a debunking or certification of psychic powers. He would then go on to astound everyone present by revealing the name, occupation and current concerns of random audience members he had never spoken to! But, it was the next part of his act that brought people back, with their friends, night after night.
As customers were seated at their tables, each was given a piece of paper containing a random number. At the beginning of the next part of his act, Dan asked the audience to take out the numbered papers. He then asked them to pass their papers to the table next to them, several times, until it was obvious that no preplanned scheme was at work during the act.
Dan picked up a fishbowl and dumped out the many small papers it contained on to a table. Three randon audience members examined the papers to be sure they were all different numbers and placed them back in the bowl. Dan then placed a blindfold over his face, again emptied the papers on to the table and asked the same three to read off three numbers he picked out.
Those who had the numbers were asked to come to Dan, while the previous three were thanked and dismissed. The audience member with the first number was asked to examine a piece of cloth to be sure it was neither transparent or translucent and tie it around Dan's blindfold. He asked the audience member with the second number to wrap ducktape around the blindfold and cloth. Finally, the person with the third number was asked to escort Dan through the audience and stop in front of randon people of their choice.
Each time, without fail, Dan was able to explain various facts about the person including a name, mother's name, months of birth, an occupation and current concerns. This always brought down the house!
As I got to know Dan and his daughter over several years, I asked him how he did it. Dan always responded saying he used "extraordinary powers of observation and simple logic." While he would never elaborate on that statement, his daughter knew her father well and was eager to expose his talents.
"Dad says the mind is like a computer. Most people think thoughts that are all over the place. Their minds receive, sort and store a lot of information. But, they really don't know how to use that information," she explained.
"The trick is," she continued, "to learn about types of people, common names, names people tend to use for babies born at a certain age during a certain decade and so on. Jobs. What people wear to work, how loud or soft they speak, their body odor...all these things can be put together to tell you everything you need to know about them!"
And then, they was logic. I had never given logic much thought because it tended to go against popular ideas, trends and current thought. But, there was no doubting it's power!
After a while I saw how Dan would take all the information that he carefully focused on and examine it from a purely logical standpoint. It was like math. Two and two must equal four no matter what. This gave him full confidence even when the occasional embarrassed audience member would deny one of his prognostications or predictions.
Why Dan chose his career was almost as interesting as the job itself. It seems that Dan had always had the strong powers of observation he used in his act. He also seemed to possess a natural talent for the use of logical observation and conclusion. This didn't exactly make him friends since the result of all that was a determined honesty.
In high school, Dan had been given a science assignment to examine the flaws in the theories of creation and evolution. After laboring for two weeks, he produced a staggering report. While critical of both theories, the report found that evolution seemed to have some fatal flaws.
Dan's science teacher was not amused. Although Dan had been an "A" student, the report was given a "C+" for effort, the results being dismissed as speculative at best.
Dan was devastated because his science teacher, being an evolution zealot, had missed the entire point of the report. Dan was not saying that the theory of evolution was without merit. He simply showed how that most textbooks and writings on the subject were far removed from Darwin's original observations and tended to reflect a particular professor or author's own amendments to the accepted concept.
Dan quickly learned that his predisposition for telling people the truth based on logic, rather then what they wanted to hear, was not going to serve him well in many of life's endevours.
During his late teens, Dan spent many happy summer hours at the fairs and carnivals which swung through his town. Visiting the Medium's Booth was always a favorite thing to do. For a buck or two, the mysterious Madame Morovia (whose real name was usually Marge) would tell him of a future filled with travel, excitement and success. Everything that a guy from a small town wanted to hear.
At the age of sixteen, Dan spent $2.50 to sit in a large tent and watch the self-acclaimed "Astounding Psychic" Doctor Livingstone. Though the name was stolen from the famous Missionary to Africa and the closest this man had ever been to being a doctor was probably the removal of a splinter from a friend's finger, the act was far more convincing then the name.
Unlike the $1 psychics and mediums, Dr Livingstone had no interest in telling his audience fanciful tales of success, marriage and a wonderfu life. Instead, he would tell people about themselves and their problems!
Dan was amazed. He had never seen anything like it before. While the $1 psychics and mediums would occasionally get it right, this guy seemed successful every time.
For five days Dan attended performances of the amazing Dr Livingstone. It soon became very obvious what the good doctor was doing. Certain people at certain ages from certain places had the same names, careers and problems. Careful observation provided the clues, while logic provided the answers and confidence.
Dan had found his forte. Other then a brief tour in the military, Dan's career as a Mentalist began when he was twenty-one and continued for the rest of his life.
As a teenager, I learned much from Dan and his logic. The most important thing I learned was the difference between dreams and reality.
In terms of politics, we dream that a person wants to be elected because they feel they can make a difference, preserve our liberties and serve all Americans. The reality is that most people run to forward their own agendas, because they feel it is owed to them or simply because they can afford to.
Most do not want to preserve the American Way. That's because most misunderstand what that is. The American Way is the preservation of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, not the changing of those instruments through judicial means or spurious laws designed ot satisfy the emotions brought on by hot button issues.
It is not popular to believe that playing with the Constitution and Bill of Rights to further individual or group agendas will lead to the ultimate loss of liberty for all, but it's the truth (based on logic).