This is one of the most ridiculous things I have heard in a while. Apparently some Christian groups in the UK are claiming that the tricks and illusions preformed by magicians are evidence that they are working with evil spirits or the devil. The magicians, some of whom are actually Christian, have defended their performances, insisting that they are not, in fact, doing anything supernatural, but are using illusions to create the appearance of something that is not really happening. Or that, at the very least, it’s an attempt to convince people of magical powers of the occult.
Christian Magicians Rise to Defend Themselves as Not Involved With the Occult
Christian magicians are rising to defend themselves against assertions made by a Christian Post columnist that the performance of magic may involve the occult.
They are upset with columnist Dan Delzell’s opinion that the U.K.-based magician Dynamo’s illusion of levitating alongside a red London double decker bus was real. Delzell related the performance to “witchcraft and contact with evil spirits, and the presumption that the art of magic is a gateway to demonic involvement.”
Delzell’s column incited a number of Christian magicians to leave comments criticizing his assumption that magic performances are linked to demonic power. These magicians included Jim Munroe, who works with worldwide ministries; Rob Robinson, a Christian magician and mentalist; and Joe Turner, who is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians and served on the board of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.
Munroe, who has worked with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, I Am Second, and Cru (formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ), told The Christian Post on Monday that he received Delzell’s column through a secular magician friend and felt compelled to respond to it.
He is concerned that statements such as Delzell’s can hurt the Christian witness. He wrote a comment under the opinion piece, “The Illusion That Seduces and Bewitches Magicians.”
“I can tell you, with full authority, that the ‘magic trick’ created by Dynamo is in fact a ‘trick,’” Munroe stated. “Its effect is in no way achieved by supernatural means. It was achieved by natural means, and its purpose was to illicit a reaction similar to Steven Spielberg’s when he created the dinosaur in Jurassic Park: that of wonder … Don’t write about things that you don’t know anything about because you widen a gap with individuals that I am trying to shrink. You counteract the very inclusion that Jesus shared.”
This is so stupid it’s amazing anyone, even a fundamentalist would buy into it. The only thing I can think is that they are so prone to magical thinking that when they see something that appears to defy the laws of nature, they assume that it must, in fact, be magic. One wonders if they apply this same thinking to anything which produces an effect by means that are not readily observable. For example, why do mobile phones produce voices from distant people? Is it invisible electromagnetic waves or the power of Satan?
Any honest magician will tell you, at least candidly, that there’s nothing magical about what they do. Their illusions are exactly that. Their skill is to use misdirection, props, optical illusion and special effects to make it seem as if the impossible is happening.
Here is the illusion that some Christians are so up in arms about:
As far as illusions go, this is not even that amazing a performance. In fact, it’s a variation of one that has been around for decades. Appearing to balance in the air while ones arm is against a building or some other object is a classic. It’s possible that Dynamo is using a different method than the classic way this is done, but he’s probably doing it the standard (and fairly obvious) way.
Note that in the video he is not seen getting up onto or coming down from the bus except from his own camera’s perspective. This hides what is actually happening and makes it impossible to see if he is just being lifted or lowered by a forklift or host. It also does not show his arm coming into contact with or leaving the bus.
The way this is done is simply by wearing a harness under ones clothing and using a sturdy support connected to the bus to support the weight of the performer. The strut is bolted to the side of the bus and hidden inside a realistic fake arm, which appears very real from a distance. The performers real arm is tucked to their side in their clothing.
Here is a picture of another performer doing a similar illusion on the side of a building during setup.
This entry was posted on Saturday, July 20th, 2013 at 10:15 am and is filed under Bad Science, Culture, Just LAME, Not Even Wrong, Paranormal, religion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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