Note 2 Deception and entertainment

In 'Three things this book is not about / Magicians and their methods' I made a distinction between deception used purely for entertainment purposes and deception used outside the sphere of entertainment. It is only fair to note that not every practitioner of the deceptive arts recognises this distinction, or would draw the same boundaries. Among the community of performers given to simulating 'psychic' demonstrations, there are many shades of opinion about claims and disclaimers but no real consensus.

Some feel obliged to offer emphatic denials of any 'real' psychic ability, and to emphasise that their routines are entertaining deceptions, no more no less. Others encourage the belief that they possess authentic psychic gifts. Many choose a middle-ground policy of 'nothing stated, nothing denied'.

All one can really say is that each performer makes his own choice, and each choice has its consequences. Personally, I do think it's risky to take the 'this is for real' route, since it tends to attract some very strange people and weird requests.

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