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Cults & World Religions discuss David Blaine - Illusionist, messed up, or possessed? in the Apologetics Forum forums; I was unsure as to where to put this thread, so Mods, please put where you feel it is best suited. I was wondering about ...

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    Constantlyreforming's Avatar
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    David Blaine - Illusionist, messed up, or possessed?

    I was unsure as to where to put this thread, so Mods, please put where you feel it is best suited.

    I was wondering about your thoughts on David Blaine. Have you watched his stuff on TV? In flipping the channels last night, I came across his magic show. Now, my grandfather was a Christian magician in Chicago, and did youth rallies with magic tricks that all had a gospel message fit into it.

    However, what David Blaine does does not seem to be illusion. It seems to be seriously messed up, crazy magic. My wife is convinced he is possessed by a devil or Satan, based on what he is capable of doing. I don't think that because of my theological beliefs regarding demons and demon possession today, but then again, what he does is very confusing to me. It's not slight of hand stuff. It's open hand, cards disappearing, bending quarters with his hand type stuff.

    Thoughts?
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    Zenas's Avatar
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    A very talented illusionist. I am quite confident either he or someone he hired is a very talented engineer.
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    Andrew
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    Tripel's Avatar
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    It's illusion, and he is very good at it.
    Daniel
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    Silly rabbit, trix are for kids.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Constantlyreforming View Post
    However, what David Blaine does does not seem to be illusion
    Brother it is all illusion, and a few paid actors (IMO) in some instances. He has mimicked many magic tricks that past illusionists have used, of which secrets have already been exposed. look up some of the tricks that most confused you, and you may be able to find some sources for elucidation.
    Benjamin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua View Post
    Silly rabbit, trix are for kids.
    And I had to read this right before lunch....

    Seriously, people have wondered whether or not Blaine has dabbled in the occult. If he's pulling off illusion, he's pulling off a VERY good set of illusions.
    J. Dean, author
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    The trick that messed with me the most was the following:

    He shows the man a deck of cards spread out with all the cards face up and mixed up.
    He then holds the deck in his hand compacted and tells the man to pick a suite.

    He picks clubs. Blaine pushes the deck into his other hand and the deck shrinks by 25%
    He then asks the man to pick another suite. He picks spades. Blaine pushes the deck and the deck shrinks by 33%.
    He then asks the man to pick one more suite. He picks diamonds. The Deck shrinks to half of what was left.

    He then asks the man to tell him what should be left, and he says Hearts.

    He flips over the remaining cards, and lo and behold, there's only hearts left, all mixed up.
    No long sleeves...

    That messed with me.
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    Keith Barry, of the Discovery Channel, gives some insight into how easily we are deceived....

    "Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” - Zechariah 3:2

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    Just think of it this way... If a demon-possessed man was trying to impress people with his supernatural abilities, he would not be doing card tricks.
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    Constantlyreforming's Avatar
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    unless he was working on convincing the world of his power before he decided to assume power.





    hahahah!
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    Slight of hand is an amazing skill, and one that people are easily fooled by because people are inclined not to suspect something that seems so obvious and close. There's no room for strings, machines, or other aides; it's all right there in the guy's hand.

    That's what makes it so effective though. Someone who's a master at slight of hand can easily fool you, and any magician worth his salt, in my opinion, is a master at slight of hand.

    The deck of cards you described is not a deck of cards. They are part of the trick and have something inherent in their design that allows him to manipulate them-even if it's very complex manipulation. He, as a magician, has probably practiced the trick tens of thousands of times to be able to do it flawlessly, in addition to the immense amount of slight of hand training he's already done practicing other tricks. His hands are likely ridiculously flexible and strong, which allow him to do things with them with little effort that you or I can't do, even with a lot of effort.

    Don't be fooled man. It's just a trick. He has made his living off of doing amazing tricks, but they're just that-tricks. I sincerely doubt it's the result of some supernatural bargain he's made with Satan. He loves his artform and he's put the practice in to not only be great at it, but amazing.
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    Here is a crazy trick that the person freely admits is a trick:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozTha...eature=related.
    James
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    Back when I was in high-school a buddy and I used to do street magic for fun. We'd walk around the campus of Michigan State doing everything Blaine does.

    Although you may think you (the participant) are freely choosing a card, suite, or name at random you are in fact being "forced" a choice. If the magician knows what you're going to do/choose beforehand they can come up will all sort of amazing illusions to follow.

    Here is a simple but neat example of that:

    David Blaine card Through window - YouTube

    As Blaine fans the cards he is actually "forcing" the participant to choose the 8 of spades, which he has already planted on the other side of the window. Had the force not worked, Blaine would have just done some other slight of hand trick with the chosen card.

    Blaine's success and entertainment value has much more to do with his acting ability then with the tricks themselves in my opinion.
    Douglas Padgett
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Padgett View Post
    Back when I was in high-school a buddy and I used to do street magic for fun. We'd walk around the campus of Michigan State doing everything Blaine does.
    Did you levitate?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexanRose View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Padgett View Post
    Back when I was in high-school a buddy and I used to do street magic for fun. We'd walk around the campus of Michigan State doing everything Blaine does.
    Did you levitate?
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    Do you think the magicians of Egypt were illusionists when they imitated the first plagues? They turned staffs into snakes, water into blood, and made frogs appear (ever tried to catch frogs with nothing but your hands and a stick? They don't just hop over to you). Was that just illusion?

    Why on earth can't a person be demon possessed today? Why can't this be "lying signs and wonders"? I don't know what this guy actually is, but lets discuss what the magicians in Egypt were, and go from there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Padgett View Post
    Back when I was in high-school a buddy and I used to do street magic for fun. We'd walk around the campus of Michigan State doing everything Blaine does.

    Although you may think you (the participant) are freely choosing a card, suite, or name at random you are in fact being "forced" a choice. If the magician knows what you're going to do/choose beforehand they can come up will all sort of amazing illusions to follow.

    Here is a simple but neat example of that:

    David Blaine card Through window - YouTube

    As Blaine fans the cards he is actually "forcing" the participant to choose the 8 of spades, which he has already planted on the other side of the window. Had the force not worked, Blaine would have just done some other slight of hand trick with the chosen card.

    Blaine's success and entertainment value has much more to do with his acting ability then with the tricks themselves in my opinion.
    Well no wonder your tricks worked. You were performing them on Spartans!

    *runs and hides behind the maize and blue shield*
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    Illusionist. Far too much gets attributed to the devil, such as "Rock N' Roll" music and women wearing jeans. Of course Satan would llove it if we attributed it to him.
    Sean
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexanRose View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Padgett View Post
    Back when I was in high-school a buddy and I used to do street magic for fun. We'd walk around the campus of Michigan State doing everything Blaine does.

    Did you levitate?
    Sure did, youtube balducci levitation.
    Douglas Padgett
    University Reformed Church (RCA)
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynnie View Post
    Do you think the magicians of Egypt were illusionists when they imitated the first plagues? They turned staffs into snakes, water into blood, and made frogs appear (ever tried to catch frogs with nothing but your hands and a stick? They don't just hop over to you). Was that just illusion?

    Why on earth can't a person be demon possessed today? Why can't this be "lying signs and wonders"? I don't know what this guy actually is, but lets discuss what the magicians in Egypt were, and go from there.
    What the magicians of Egypt did was done in a religious context - Moses and the true God vs. the Egyptian magicians and their false god. Although we are not told in the Bible, perhaps God allowed the magicians to be partially successful (just as God hardened Pharaoh's heart) so He could get glorified even more.

    What Blaine does is mere human magic tricks performed by a very talented magician. Same with David Copperfield.
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    I think Vegas is better at 'slight-of-hand' than any magician.


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    Alan D. Strange's Avatar
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    I don't understand why this is a topic of discussion. Mr. Blaine is an illusionist. Does anyone seriously think otherwise? Does someone on PB think that something supernatural is happening here? If so, why? Why would someone think that? I am not that familiar with Mr. Blaine, but I don't think that he even pretends that is the case. I find this quite perplexing.

    Br. Zuelch is correct about the context of Pharoah's wise men (like Nebuchadnezzar's wise men). None of that has anything to do with Blaine or his ilk. We can talk about sorcery and so forth in the Scripture and afterwards. This is not that. It's just some tricks that, in my view, are not terribly interesting. It seems like some are suggesting--but I must be misunderstanding--that this fellow actually has some sort of supernatural power, presumably of a nefarious sort. I must have missed something!

    Peace,
    Alan
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    bookslover is offline. Puritanboard Postgraduate
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan D. Strange View Post
    I don't understand why this is a topic of discussion. Mr. Blaine is an illusionist. Does anyone seriously think otherwise? Does someone on PB think that something supernatural is happening here? If so, why? Why would someone think that? I am not that familiar with Mr. Blaine, but I don't think that he even pretends that is the case. I find this quite perplexing.

    Br. Zuelch is correct about the context of Pharoah's wise men (like Nebuchadnezzar's wise men). None of that has anything to do with Blaine or his ilk. We can talk about sorcery and so forth in the Scripture and afterwards. This is not that. It's just some tricks that, in my view, are not terribly interesting. It seems like some are suggesting--but I must be misunderstanding--that this fellow actually has some sort of supernatural power, presumably of a nefarious sort. I must have missed something!

    Peace,
    Alan
    Alan - it's almost time for that yearly trick the IRS does. You know, the one where some of your money somehow winds up in Washington, DC?
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    On the subject of levitation (OK, it was a couple of posts back) Blaine had his cover blown on the trick over here in the UK. Basically the trick is two parts, a rear/side view which lifts him about 4" off the ground, and a long shot from behind as he takes a cruciform position and rises into the air. The first part is done by him standing on the ball of one foot (the far side foot) while keeping the sole of his other foot parallel to the ground and lifting in line with his tip-toe foot on the other side. On it's own this can look pretty spectacular.

    There are several cuts to the street audience and their amazed faces. This is because they've witnessed part one of the trick, which even I have fooled people with. The rest is post production, where he's harnessed and on wires, and raised up in the same street in front of an audience of extras dressed in similar clothes to the real audience earlier in the day/week. These people are only seen from behind, so no way of discovering that they're different people. Blaine is winched up whilst being shot through the crowd of extras and a final cut of the real audience looking amazed is added to finish off.

    Simple really.
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    David Blaine is a very talented Illusionist. He is also into Endurance exercises too... For example, he holds the world record for holding his breath under water when taking deep breaths from an oxygen tank beforehand. I think his time was 17min & 4sec. He also only drank 4.5 litters of water without food for 44 days straight. So I wouldn't say that doing these tricks are satanic and evil. I would add though that he probably thrives off of the attention he gets from doing these types of tricks. I would say his struggle is with Pride and Vanity not the occult.
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    Perhaps I should clarify why I posted.

    I am simply incredulous that Reformed believers, especially, would entertain the possibility that prestidigitation is anything other than what it is--sleight of hand. We know the real supernatural: the new birth has brought us into such a reality. Why we would we imagine that legerdemain has anything to do with supernatural?

    Our enemy and his minions are plenty active, even though bound in this "between time," the time of overlap of "this age" and "the coming age," the latter of which has come in the victory of our Lord, to be fully realized at His Second coming. We are all engaged in a fierce battle with the devil, the flesh, and the world. To suggest that something so trivial as the tricks of an illusionist has anything to do with this titanic struggle is baffling to me.

    Perhaps this is the reason for Joshua's reply above with respect to Trix--it's his humorous way of indicating that Blaine and company are simply not to be taken seriously.

    Peace,
    Alan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan D. Strange View Post
    Perhaps this is the reason for Joshua's reply above with respect to Trix--it's his humorous way of indicating that Blaine and company are simply not to be taken seriously.
    Yes, Sir!
    Josh
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    possession. The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell
    therein.- Ps. 69

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    I once saw him rip his own heart out on Conan O'Brien years ago.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynnie View Post
    Do you think the magicians of Egypt were illusionists when they imitated the first plagues? They turned staffs into snakes, water into blood, and made frogs appear (ever tried to catch frogs with nothing but your hands and a stick? They don't just hop over to you). Was that just illusion?

    Why on earth can't a person be demon possessed today? Why can't this be "lying signs and wonders"? I don't know what this guy actually is, but lets discuss what the magicians in Egypt were, and go from there.
    Why is the question "what is possible?" rather than "what is most likely?"? If my neighbor's tomato plants produce bushels of tomatoes while mine produces a few tiny ones that just get eaten by mockingbirds, do I start thinking, "well it is possible that he used witchcraft to reap a bountiful harvest while cursing my plants"? Isn't it a lot more likely that he's just a better gardener than I am? In the same way, I'm pretty sure that someone who produces amazing tricks that are reproducible by illusionists trained in sleight of hand is able to do so by means of skill developed through hard work and knowledge.
    Last edited by SRoper; 01-31-2012 at 07:03 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by forgivenmuch View Post
    I once saw him rip his own heart out on Conan O'Brien years ago.
    No you didn't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andres View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by forgivenmuch View Post
    I once saw him rip his own heart out on Conan O'Brien years ago.
    No you didn't.
    Exactly!
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