The Psychic Mafia
He claimed to be clairvoyant! He astounded audiences by seeming to bend objects and make them defy gravity without touching them! He conducted seances at which participants were sure they had touched the dead!
M. Lamar Keene enjoyed the riches and fame that often accompany the life of a sought-after medium. He came to be known as the "Prince of the Spiritualists". Yet every miracle Keene performed was a fraud, a lie, and a trick played on willing, gullible victims. In his powerful and nakedly honest book, The Psychic Mafia, Keene admits everything, explaining that he isn't the only fraud prowling the world of the paranormal, making huge sums exploiting the lives (and wallets) of those who believe: bereaved widows, desperate parents, separated lovers, and families.
Originally published in 1976, and long out of print, this classic work is a fast-paced autobiographical account of a confessed charlatan who was one of the first "mediums" to admit his deception. Keene details the tricks many use in the seance room to perpetrate ghostly apparitions, floating objects, talks with the dead, and more. His is an incredible look at the tricks of this lucrative trade by a man who rose to the very top of a popular business and then chose to give it up when guilt overcame him. He shed the chains of deceit for the sake of his own search for the truth.
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Reviewed July 2002
What a surreal account of life as a medium almost to much to believe. I visited Lily Dale a couple days after reading this book and the timing was amazing. Its hard to believe how people would continue to believe when they are shown how the tricks are done is incredible. The organization techniques used to dupe people is intense. I think Ray Hyman says it all when he says in the forward, "These people did not want to see the speaker cheating!"
What I further found hard to grasp is these Mason friends of Keene who kno knowing what they know still believe in spiritualism? I found the spirit sex part very interesting that anyone could fall for that they are only fooling themselves can you imagine how to explain that to the family?
Keene's recount of why he got out of the business is almost as strange. He was adopted by an old woman, he never explains that his parents died, and why would a man in his 30s need to be adopted in the first place. He was never without money yet he moves in with her, endangering her life instead of getting his own apartment, very strange!
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