Title of Presentation: The Illusion of Psychic Powers
Date & Time: Saturday, June 1 5:00 pm
Location: Del Mar
Presentation Summary: Jamy Ian Swiss defines the four kinds of paranormal events — telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance and psychokinesis — declares them to be non-existent, and then demonstrates that even the most intelligent and wary of audiences can be fooled by a determined charlatan.
Swiss reviews some of the history of parapsychology; addresses the ethical differences between those who use magic to entertain and those who claim to have paranormal powers; describes the basic principles of conjuring techniques and psychology as used by both magicians and self-styled “psychics”; and demonstrates how the latter use these techniques to deceive the public and scientific community alike. Swiss dramatically challenges such academic preconceptions as the suggestion that mere innate intelligence or formal education can serve as adequate protection against fraud; illustrates how and why scientists have so often become the defenseless targets of fakery; and demonstrates why the conjuror’s specialized expertise in deception is the only adequate defense.
Biography: Penn & Teller has called Jamy Ian Swiss a “James Bond with a deck of cards for a pistol!” New Yorker magazine declared, “Swiss is widely thought to have one of the most masterly sleight-of-hand techniques in the world today!” Television appearances include”48 Hours,” “Nova,” “The Today Show,” and “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” A renowned skeptic and pro-science advocate and activist, Swiss is a founder of the National Capital Area Skeptics and the New York City Skeptics, has appeared on behalf of the Center For Inquiry, and serves as a fellow of the James Randi Educational Foundation.