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Psychic Mafia

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  13 reviews
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 ...more
Published September 1st 1997 by Prometheus Books (first published January 1st 1976)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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 ·  67 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a famous book in its day, and I'm surprised I didn't read it years ago. Keene was a renowned "medium" in the 1950s-1970s before his conscience finally got the better of him. This book, in which he names some (but alas not all) names and reveals plenty of details of the outright swindling practiced in fake spiritualism, brought him death threats and seemingly a couple of actual assassination attempts. Of course, it didn't affect the business of the phonies much if at all. And remember, s ...more
Dave Powell
Dec 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Got this book as a free download which I posted to my kindle. I don't think it is still available in print - if you want to read it let me know and I'll dig out the link.
M. Lamar Keene was a big name psychic in America during the 60's and 70's until he got a conscience and published this book to expose all the fradulent techniques he and his fellow psychics had been using. The level of deceipt is astounding - with a country wide network of fradulent mediums (not that there's any other type) sha
Keith Blakemore-Noble
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: magic-and-more
A very interesting read.
A great exploration of the tricks, frauds, and cons employed by mediums and spiritualists both in the U.K. and the USA.
Made all the more interesting by being written by one of those self-same spiritualist mediums.

Good introduction into how those sorts of cons were (and in some cases still are) carried out, and a revealing insight into just how far they go to trick the unsuspecting victims, to relieve them of considerable money and property, and to
Adam Cornish
May 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Poorly written, self-aggrandizing, and low on substance. I learned a few interesting anecdotes, but the sheer amount of references in the bibliography would suggest more detailed descriptions and factual information. Anyone already credulous about mediums and faked spirituality (nor anyone who accepts that psychics and ghosts are real) will have their minds changed by this book.
Mar 31, 2012 rated it liked it
Essential reading for anyone who likes skeptical topics, and, hell, even for the believers out there. But as entertainment, it's a bit one-note. Keene certainly delights in the fact that he was able to sway the lives of so many people, even as he claims to be reformed. I was surprised at some of the details that go into being a fraud medium, and just how far Keene and the rest at Chesterfield would go to make a buck.
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
Found this an interesting topic from a man who became a talented actor, perfected his craft and essentially gave people exactly what they expected. The spiritual movement history is rich. Becoming a whistleblower is never an easy decision most especially when one reveals his own dishonesty in the process. Mr. Keene to be sure found few friends in the writing/release of his book. One need not be psychic to see a new profession was in his near future.
Chris Wognum
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book. It was good fun. Its no literary masterpiece but a good break between heavy books :P
You can't fault Keenes brutal honesty. Its nice that he doesn't try to take everyone else down with him too and accepts the blame and responsibility. Really interesting reading although I still don't know how people ever fell for it!!!
Jan 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: scepticism
I can't say I learnt too much from this book. I just come away still not understanding how people can actually believe in psychics and mediums when to me they are so obviously either frauds or self deluded. It was still quite an interesting read and I would recommend it to anyone who believes or doesn't know either way, as it may help to open your eyes.
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Originally published in 1972, this is a fascinating expose of the spiritualism racket.

It also has a side effect of making the reader think every human on the planet is either a greedy, conscienceless POS too stupid to live.

Hydroxia Gryphon
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow! Interesting exposure to the seedy underground of mediumism. Glad I don't fit in that category! What courage Lamar Keene had to change his ways…
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bio, relevant
Sadly, besides entertaining to a few, this book is not going to change much.
Jan 04, 2009 rated it liked it
This is a unique book.
It has that, first time I heard santa claus was a ruse, kind of effect.
You can't really refute it.
So if you think it's better not to know,
then it's not for you.

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