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← AC Grayling: Derren Brown's Lotto stunt was a trick too far

Donald's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by Donald

I found Derren Brown's "Lotto" Friday show vaguely unsettling and antisocial, so here's my take:

Like Uri Geller before him, Derren has crossed a gray area between an entertaining illusionist and a deceptive manipulator of people's beliefs about what can be real and what is not.

His Friday presentation left people believing that "automatic writing", and "meditation" have some reality as physical predictions. (Not many readers here, I am sure, but amongst the TV-watching millions.)

This is the same kind of twaddle as can be found in astrology, water divining, clairvoyance, psychokinetics, etc, etc, etc.

It is precisely what RD was trying to counter in his Channel 4 programme "Enemies of Reason" - exposing the superstitious flimflam that mind-readers, tarot cards, mediums, and other unscrupuluous characters can use to fleece the ignorant.

These false beliefs are not harmless to people who do not have the protection of sufficient education or life experience.

I feel the same as Adrian Bartholomew, comment 415335:

I think it comes down to the fact I don’t like being lied to. Penn and Teller will do a trick and TELL you it’s a trick. That is nice and honest.

Congratulations to Poel James for his thorough and precise expose of what Derren Brown actually did, and to Coel, comment 415339 for the link to it:

Tue, 15 Sep 2009 18:39:00 UTC | #397363