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RFM: 231: Magic and Mormonism Part 2

Radio Free Mormon continues his exploration of how an understanding of basic principles of stage magic helps illuminate various aspects of early Church history!

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2 thoughts on “RFM: 231: Magic and Mormonism Part 2”

  1. OMG! Lynn Bryson came to our young adult shindig near Orlando FL in 1983 to chill us with the terrors of “backmasking” & with his stories of almost converting Glen Campbell to the church. Most of us fell for it hook line & sinker! Then Paul H. Dunn reeled us in with his fake exploits of WWII (twas WE who were exploited!) & major league baseball. He also reassured us he had checked out LDS doctrine & theology at the highest levels in ivy league academies & it all “checked out.” So, no need to look further!
    Thank you for your magical podcast! 🙂

  2. It was my pleasure to meet and know Randi a little bit as a fellow member of the Skeptic Society. I have and have read his books and have endeavored to follow his life and career.

    He lured me, as a rank amateur, into the world of close-up magic. I spent a lot of time and money learning how to accost strangers in bars and relatives at reunions and annoy them, and yet always with pleasant results in the end.

    I’m glad you talked about the magician’s creed and commitment to entertain but yet not deceive others about matters that really matter in life.

    Johnny Carson was an amateur magician and shared the creed and commitment with Randi. He also knew and admired Randi. When the Tonight Show booked an appearance by Uri Geller, Carson was determined to prevent Geller from peddling his spoon-bending shtick because Gellar was presenting himself as having the mental powers to bend the spoons and telling people they could develop their own such powers and even take over their own health management. All they had to do was buy his books and follow the advice in them.

    Carson deployed Randi’s rules of engagement and Geller was shut down completely on the appearance. I still enjoy watching the video of that show. Randi always later explained that he would never have helped embarrass and damage another honest illusionist but Geller had passed into another moral domain, something more than an entertaining trickster, and Carson and Randi would have none of it.

    These two presentations of yours are pure…..what should I say, gold and magic. As a former Mormon, I am in awe of how you have demonstrated the Gellerness of Mormonism with your most excellent explanations of tactics of show biz illusions.

    I think the highest compliment I can pay you is: James Randi would have been proud of what you’ve done.

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