Sabotage the elements

In Section Two of this book we saw 38 elements that can play a part in cold reading. Every single element has an underlying structure or formula. In every case, if you understand the formula, you can completely sabotage that particular element. You do this by (a) openly addressing the structure or formula involved, and then (b) subverting it.

Let us look at a few of the more common examples, starting with the Rainbow Ruse. The psychic offers something like this:

"You can be a very considerate person, but there are times when you recognise a selfish streak in yourself."

If you understand how the Rainbow Ruse works, you know that it credits the client with both a personality trait and its opposite, thereby covering all the bases. Hence the appropriate blocking technique is to bring out this structure, and ask for a description which says you are one thing or the other:

"I'm sorry, but what you've just said sounds as if you're telling me I am considerate but I'm also not considerate. I don't follow. Which one do you mean?"

In similar vein, consider a Greener Grass statement. If you happen to be evidently a very 'career-oriented' sort of person, you might get offered a Greener Grass statement about domestic and family life. You know that this kind of statement works by attributing to the client some hankering after the life choices she did not pursue. To block it, you bring out the structure and then sink it, like this:

"Oh I see, you mean that I could be interested in the other choices that I might have made in life, but didn't. Well, I have to disagree. I'm happy with the choices I made. That's why I made them."

I am sure you are getting the hang of the idea. Next, let us try a Fuzzy Fact. Here is an example from the earlier section:

"I can see a connection with Europe, possibly the UK or it could be the warmer, Mediterranean part?"

The same blocking formula applies. First, you bring out the underlying structure, in this case the complete lack of any meaningful context. Then, you render it useless. Like this:

"Well it's kind of hard for me to answer that until I know what you mean. What sort of connection are you talking about"? Personal, social, professional... or what? Are you referring to the present or the past? And what do you mean by 'a connection' anyway?"

I could provide more examples, but I feel I have laboured the point enough already. The basic blocking technique remains the same: bring out the structure, then blow it to pieces.

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