PCEC delves into the paranormal

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Master of Ceremonies Richard Silverberg welcomed everyone to the regular Sunday meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club on January 9, 2011 at Amari Resort’s Tavern by the Sea. After the usual opening announcements, he called on the day’s guest speaker who really needed no introduction. Howard Posener, a Club member, is also known as “Magic” Howard since he is a world renowned magician. Rather than performing magic, Howard said that he would talk about the paranormal.

Howard, a member of the Magic Circle, an exclusive worldwide magic society with about 400 prominent members, said he was on a committee that investigated claims by psychics and fortune tellers of their ability to communicate with the dead or foretell the future.  Howard said that many claims of paranormal ability did not pass scrutiny, but that he himself would not say that some did not have a gift. He told the story of his father going off to fight in World War II. His mother received official British government notice that he was dead. While many of her friends advised her to get on with her life, a neighbor who was a psychic told her the letter was wrong; that her husband was alive.  Howard said that since this was before he was conceived, he was living proof that the psychic was right.

“Magic Howard” Posener entertains fellow PCEC members with stories of the ways ‘psychics’ predict the past - i.e., your past!“Magic Howard” Posener entertains fellow PCEC members with stories of the ways ‘psychics’ predict the past – i.e., your past!

Many well known persons believed in the paranormal.  Howard mentioned Churchill, Rasputin, Stalin, and Hitler as some of those. Also, he pointed out that Princess Diana consulted with a psychic twice a week. Howard then described how many so called psychics and fortune tellers make you believe that they have paranormal powers. Many do this by obtaining preliminary information from people desiring to be on their show and then doing further research. By the time the person appears on the show, they have often forgotten about giving this information.  So, when the psychic brings up people and events that have occurred, they quickly believe that they do have paranormal ability. He mentioned one psychic who gave a free initial consultation. The psychic had four detectives that then went out to get more information so she could convince the subject that she really had psychic powers. On subsequent consultations, she charged these gullible clients 500 English pounds per session.

Howard also explained that many psychics and fortune tellers rely on common traits that most people have and also use popular names given by parents during certain periods of time that coincide with a person’s parents or grandparents birth. He also described how these people have great skill in reading body language. As a result, as they mention names or events they can tell when there is a reaction and then continue to pursue that further while still watching closely for reaction.  He said one thing he always found of interest was those psychics that claim their subject had a past life or lives. He found it interesting that none of these past personas were common or ordinary people. The psychic always identifies them as someone great such as royalty, or generals, or other prominent persons.

Howard enlists the girls to help with another demo - how a single, slightly flattering description can be read by different individuals to be a more or less accurate description of themselves.Howard enlists the girls to help with another demo – how a single, slightly flattering description can be read by different individuals to be a more or less accurate description of themselves.

One very interesting story Howard told was of a purported psychic that sent letters to various news media predicting a major air crash on a specific date; however, the date was different in each letter. The news media generally ignored the letters when nothing happened on that date and forgot about them. But, as chance would have it, at some point it would happen.  When it did, the psychic would identify which letter was sent with that date in it, contact the media that received it, and remind them of their prediction.  Naturally they received publicity about it, which was picked up and reported by other news media giving credence to their ability to predict the future.

In concluding his presentation, Howard did perform some magic for the audience. He handed a deck of cards for someone to hold and said that there was one card face up mixed in with the deck. Using a random method of selection, he asked a member in the audience to think of a particular card – yes, the card named was the one face up in the deck. No, Howard did not explain how he did that – after all, if we knew, it wouldn’t be magic. For more information about Howard, visit his web site at www.magichoward.com.

Richard Silverberg updated everyone on upcoming events and called on “Hawaii” Bob Sutterfield to conduct the always informative and sometimes humorous Open Forum, where questions about living in Thailand and Pattaya in particular are asked and answered.