Being Responsible…

Derren Brown

Love him or hate him, Derren Brown is able to pull off some amazing mentalism routines.  Take this one for instance (please take the time to check it out.  It is totally worth it!):

Mr. Brown has recently caught a lot of flack (which I totally agree with) from the rest of the mentalism/skeptic community regarding the manner in which he delivers his mentalism routine. 

As outlined by Caption Disillusion (member of the Skeptical Syndicate)

The vast majority of the performers in the mentalism profession are up front with the fact that everything that they are doing is a trick.  Many actually take a few minutes at the beginning of each show to actually make sure that the audience is aware of this fact, and will reinforce it throughout the show.  As of late, Mr. Brown has become increasingly vague regarding this ability to perform various feats.  To my knowledge, Mr. Brown has never claimed to have any sort of “powers”; however he has demonstrated an increasing propensity for indirectly implying that he does in fact have some sort of “super natural” ability/has tapped into some sort of “super natural” phenomena. 

Mr. Brown is tricking people under false notion that he has some sort of “super natural” ability.  In my humble opinion, this is no different than those individuals who claim to have some sort of “super natural” ability when in fact they are knowingly performing some simple manoeuvre such as sleight of hand.  Mr. Brown is being dishonest and extremely irresponsible. 

Personally, I think that his performance is much more impressive under the assertion that he does not have any sort of “super natural” powers.  I would argue that this makes the audience (myself included) work a little bit harder to understand the situation before them.  Instead of copping out with the “easy” explanation of “super natural” powers, the audience (again, me include) is pushed to work a little bit harder for the answer.  We are pushed to employ our critical thinking skills in order to determine how Mr. Brown is able to do the things he does rather than chalk it up to “super natural” powers/phenomena.    

This has been the skeptical samurai

Working to serve…

Through the process of inquiry…

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