Magician Dan Korem probed the human psyche Thursday evening as he asked an audience of approximately 300 why people are easy to deceive and why people are compelled to believe in the supernatural. Korem, a well-known magician, spent three hours in Logan Hall answering these questions and several others through magical presentations and discussion. He explained why thousands have "plugged into" practitioners of the occult who claim to have captured supernatural powers. "People want power over their pain," said Korem. "Love the truth more than you fear the pain." Korem, who has investigated the occult and self-proclaimed psychics and healers since 1981, said that almost every fraudulent female psychic has been sexually abused. Korem, who has read thousands of books about magic dating back to the 1800's and has written several of his own including Powers: Testing the psychic and supernatural, went on to present statistics which correlate break downs in families and occult participation. "Words and images are very powerful," said Korem as he began to describe some simple methods which magicians and psychics use to deceive audiences. To make this point, Korem presented many tricks using subliminal messages and "profile observation," or rapid character analysis, which many people would usually consider supernatural actions. Although Korem stated time and time again that his actions were simply mind games and purely magic, his presentation was convincing, and much of the audience appeared awestruck. Korem was able seemingly to extract names, colors, words and specific cards out of midair. Korem, who has had a fascination with magic since his childhood, explained how he had accomplished some of the magical feats, but he was hindered from explaining many of them by the magician's code of ethics of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, which states that magicians may not present to the common audience many ideas within the body of magic. Korem pointed out many arenas within everyday life in which people have tried to use psychic powers to help them with their jobs. He detailed many incidents where the military, the police force and the government have tried to tap into what he called the fraudulent world of the supernatural. The main purpose of the presentation, which was sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ, was to debunk so-called supernatural activity. Korem said he felt that people need to be made aware of the many con-artists and fraudulent psychics who prey on the common person's ignorance and ability to be deceived. Korem said that the more intelligent an individual is the more easily they are deceived. "Children are the hardest to fool," he added. The final part of the presentation by Korem, who is a Jew by ethnicity but a Christian by faith, was a comparison to what he called the "miraculous incidents within the Bible" and the frauds of today. Korem dismantled many of the efforts of Nostradamus, the "psychic" of the 15th century. He said that studies of Nostradamus' predictions show that there is no concrete evidence which connects incidents he supposedly predicted and his actual documentation. Nostradamus was a magician, according to Korem. In contrast, Korem said that the prophets of the Old Testament did accurately foresee many future incidents as they pertained to the life of Christ. Comparison between actual incidents and prophetic predictions of Bible are so much alike it is hard to refute the evidence, Korem said. Although Korem said many of his concepts are steps of faith, he said he uses logic to examine the predictions made by Old Testament prophets about the life of Jesus as it was portrayed in the New Testament, prophecies he said were accurate. Korem ended up his talk speaking about his faith, adding that our society has lost the concepts of bad versus good. "We need to bring back the words evil and sin back into our vocabulary," he said. College freshman Diana Morse, who appeared dumbfounded by the presentation, could not explain Korem's magic but said she enjoyed the speech. "He had things to say and he could get people here to hear it through his magical talent and get his point across," Morse said. Jack Mattern, director of Campus Crusade for Christ at the University, said that Korem was brought to the campus because the concept of supernatural powers needed to be addressed. "I feel there is a lot of confusion about fraud and the supernatural," said Mattern. "There is no criticism of the bad things out there."
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