posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 10:56 AM
For those of you in the UK and have seen Derren Browns's recent deluge of programs on channel 4 in attempting to prove all psychic phenomena to be
fake, such as "seance" what do you think of him?
At first I thought he was an honest skeptic who wants to expose the frauds of the psychic scene. However, from his recent shows, I am inclined to
believe that he has an ulterior motive. He is either a real psychic himself and is cleverly hiding it behind "psychological experiments" or he is
setting up fake experiments with actors or hypnotized paticipants.
In his recent "seance" where a group of college students were invited to do a "psychological experiment" in an old school were a group of students
had earlier killed themselves due to a suicide pact. Some of the things that occurred, if we take the premise that the participants involved were not
acting, cannot be explained as normal or psychological phenomena. For instance:
A spirit cabinet is introduced to the group. In the cabinet, there is a table with a bunch of papers and a tamberine. He invites a woman from the
group who he then puts into trance to sit in the cabinet(there are no suggestions) and then draws the curtains around her. In a few seconds, we hear
the tamberine fall. The curtains are redrawn and the girl is seen still in trance in the chair and the tamberine lying on the floor. She is awakened
and then asked if she touched the tamberine; she replies no. She is then put into trance again and the curtains are closed. A few seconds later, the
tamberine is hurled out of the cabinet at the group.
The curtains are again redrawn and the woman questioned. Again she responds she did not. Derren then proceeds to a set of screens and informs them
that it was all caught on CCTV. When he ran the tape, much to the disbelief of the woman, she was caught dislodging and throwing the tamberine. She
swore the group she had no recollection of doing that.
Derren explained this away as "unconscious action" I know for a fact that if I was in the cabinet I would not have thrown it, unconscious or not.
So, either Derren hypnotized her earlier(of camera) or she was an actor.
Then, something much more extraordinary happened. He asked another participant, this time a guy, to come forward and try it, except this time, the guy
was to remain conscious. The curtains were drawn, and seconds later, all the papers were thrown up out of the cabinet and the guy was screaming for
his life. The curtains were drawn, and there the guy was, in an absolute state of hysteria. He said "He wanted to get out, that he felt something
Later, another experiment was tried, the actual seance. One of the group members, a woman, was picked to go downstairs and pick a room in a corridor
of 14(?) rooms and sit on her own in there in a dark room. Inside, there was a chair and a slate with a chalk.
Meanwhile, cards with pictures of each of the old students who commited suicide were laid out into the table. Half of them were black and white and
half of them were colour. Then the group were asked to concentrate on a colour one that drew them in the most, and then move to the nearest black and
white one from there, then to the nearest colour, then to the black and white, then to the nearest colour one diagonal and left from that. The viewers
at home were instructed to do the same.
I instantly saw the trickery involved in that. As the cards were arranged in such a manner that most people would have ended up with the same card in
the end. That card was Jane. However, no one revealed who they got till the end.
Although that was not extrordinary itself, what happened thereafter was. Derren said that one of the spirits was trying to contact them and would be
present with them. One of the members was then put into trance and given a slate and chalk. Meanwhile, the student who was downstairs on her own in
the room, was asked to write a name of a city down. The one in trance was told to write the city from where she thought the spirit was from, except to
do let the pen to automatically write by itself. She scribbled down London in obscure, but decypherable lettters.
This was referenced with the girl downstairs. They both had written London. Derren told them it could be because London is the most popular city in
UK. However, no one in the group bought that, nor did I. There are some 20 cities in UK, the chances of them both writing london would be less than
1%. If either of the girls wrote something else, the experiment would have been ruined. However, we should bear in mind, that this school/college was
actually in London. So, perhaps the most logical answer was London.
Thereafter, the group tried to contact the spirit on a Ouiji board like set-up. Basically the letters of the alphabet on cards were arranged in a
circle around an ordinary glass tumber at the centre. Each of the group members then put their finger on the glass and asked to think of the student
they picked in the earlier card exercise. They were told there is only one spirit that could be present. They were also told the glass would
automatically move to the letters and spell out the name of the spirit. Initially, the glass did not move. So Derren swapped around some of the group
members. I noticed, that the the ones swapped around were the most strongest and biggest. So, perhaps it is to do with force mechanics(i.e. the
strongest force counteracting the weaker forces to produce motion in direction of the strongest force)
The glass started to move slowly towards the letter J, it then started to pick up speed and spell the letters A, N and ended at the letter E at it's
fastest speed(almost off the table) this was the card that was forced in the earlier exercise. This itself, although completely freaked our group
members, was not extraordinary, as it turns out that 10 of the 12 had the same card 'JANE' and as were all expecting the letter 'J', it produced
unconscious movement of the glass to the card 'J' and it picked up speed only because they were anticipating the subsequent letters and were
convinced "it was working" hence the increase in speed.
After they had established it was Jane was contacting them. They opened up an enveolpe on Jane. There were was an envelope for each student. It
mentioned what town she was from and what her class room number was. It said she was from London and her class room was 7. They then asked the girl
downstairs through an intercom system to tell them the room number she was in; yes, she was in room 7!
There were 14 or so rooms down there. How did she manage to get into the same room that Jane was in. Now, again, either she is an actor or
there were several envelopes, each putting Jane in a different room and Derren was informed about which room she chose by a crew member from an
At this moment the entire group of students, who were initially skeptics, were all in a state of shock. What happened thereafter can only be
explained as an actor. They sat around a table and formed a circle to contact the spirit of Jane. One of the group members, again a girl, was put into
trance and was going to be the medium to channel the spirit of Jane. Moments later, everyone reported the presence of Jane and 'Jane' began speaking
through the girl(this is called transmediumship) in a different voice and talked about herself and mentioned her cat "harry" After it was over,
Derren said he had obtained a letter and video from the relatives of each student about the students and their life. Halfway down the letter it
mentions her cat harry!
There is a lot of trickery and mind games involved in this entire experiment. So, perhaps the ending was trickery too. And the only trickery that
could be involved here is that the the group member that was assigned to be a medium was an actor.
I don't think this can be explained without assuming that some of the group members were plants(actors) and the psychological experiment was a fake
and therefore deliberate disinformation. As it cannot claim to prove that mediumship is "psychological" if there were actors involved. What do you
[edit on 6-2-2005 by Indigo_Child]