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Psychic Abilities
joseph dunninger, psychic phenomena, publicity purposes, history of magic

Magicians Who Endorsed Psychic Phenomena

Author: George P. Hansen

Originally published in The Linking Ring [monthly magazine of the International Brotherhood of Magicians], August 1990, Volume 70, No. 8, pp. 52-54.

Conjurors have long played a role in psychical research. Many
people are under the impression that magicians are total skeptics when it comes
to psychic phenomena. It comes as a surprise to many (including some
magicians), to learn that this is by no means the case. A number of the
most prominent magicians in history have endorsed the reality of psychic
phenomena. A surprising roster of modern-day conjurors also have positive

In this article I will list favorable
opinions and comments of conjurors from the past and present. Some of
these are prominent figures included in any standard history of magic while
others are not quite so well known. The end of the article includes a list
of original sources. These may be of interest to historians of magic and
other scholars. Many more references could have been included, but these
give the views I cite in this article.

Some magicians positive statements regarding psychic phenomena might be looked upon
with some skepticism. In the mentalist literature, performers are
frequently urged to claim genuine abilities even if they don't believe in
them. In other instances, magicians might make positive statements for
publicity purposes. Such practices have led some to doubt any positive
opinions magicians claim on the matter.

There is
considerable controversy regarding statements made by mentalists like Joseph
Dunninger, David Hoy, and Kreskin. However, I have not yet come across
anything that would lead me to doubt the statements and views cited in this
article. They seem to truly reflect the honest opinions of those stating
them. If anyone has contrary information, I would much like to know.

Due to copyright issues, we can no longer publish the entire
article contents here. Please refer to the complete article at
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