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The Psychic Mafia Hardcover – August, 1977

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

was one of the best," said LJ's reviewer of this peek into a fake's bag of tricks (LJ 7/76). Keene reveals how he created ghostly apparitions, floating objects, etc., during phony seances.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Dell Publishing Company (August 1977)
  • ISBN-10: 044016849X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440168492
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,562,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Lamar Keene was a midcentury American psychic who used trickery and deceit to finance his extravagant lifestyle. At one point, he gave it up, and found strength from a friend (a Mason!) to expose his former friends and colleagues as frauds. The writing is a bit sensationalistic, but it matches its subjects well. Learn about ectoplasm, spirit messages, rapping, and - God help us all - "spirit sex." If you're a believer, this should only entrench your belief; if you're a skeptic you won't learn much. For those of us paranormal fence-straddlers, though, The Psychic Mafia is as eye-opening as its subjects claim to be. Thanks, Lamar!
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Format: Paperback
A classic!

For years, when it was out or print, those in the know had been searching for those few rare copies of this book. (My local used book store once had me third on the list of people to notify on the off chance one showed up!) Now its back in print. If you are interested in the subject of how fortune telling and spiritualist effects can be used to defraud, cheat and steal this is MUST reading.

Peter Huston, author of "Scams from the Great Beyond."
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Format: Paperback
Not only enlightening, but fun, too. The author's experience as a fake psychic are instructive to anyone interested in the supernatural -- and show just how easy it is to be taken in by a clever con man. The "Psychic Network" working across the nation to lend credence to psychic claims was a true revelation to me. How much easier it must be to perpetrate such frauds in the current computer age!
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Format: Paperback
A scream right until the last chapter, when Keene disappointingly reveals that he has now turned to God. As such, 'The Psychic Mafia' is strikingly similar to John Anderson's personal expose 'Psychic Phenomena Unveiled'; he too turned from ouija to Jesus, making one wonder just what is missing in these people's lives that they have to have something, anything, mystical to believe in. Nevertheless, Keene keeps the interest up by steadily revealing the secrets behind so-called spirit phenomena. The seance concept is rather dated now; perhaps before too long we will be treated to similar admissions by today's high priests of crackpotism, the channelers.
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Format: Paperback
Neither believers nor skeptics can afford to ignore this book. It is the first-hand account of a young man interested in spiritualist religion, who discovers that it is easy to fake communication with people's dead relatives, and uses his tricks to become a star of spiritualism.

For believers, the most damning part of the book is Keene's account of how many (not all) spirit mediums of his acquaintance cynically cooperated with one another to fool and cheat their credulous clients. Believers cannot easily dismiss Keene's inside expose, as they do many other exposes, as the attack by an opponent of spiritualism. Keene was one of their own, and his "as told to" coauthor Allan Spraggett is a well-known writer on paranormal topics, and himself a believer in psychic powers, but also too honest to ignore fraud when he sees it.

For skeptics, the challenge of the book will be to understand the enduring attraction of psychic powers in general, and spiritualism in particular, in the face of this and other exposes.

For the casual reader, the book is an entertaining account of a confessed con man. For the student of paranormal phenomena, the book is an account of the psychology of both the psychic faker and of the psychic true believer. The psychology of human belief remains the same, and that is why this book belongs on the shelf of every serious student of the paranormal.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read thousands of books in my life. This one takes the cake. You'll find yourself engrossed in the macabe. Easy, light reading - but packed with a punch. I personally have an autographed copy of this book and wouldn't give it up for the world. Its sealed in plastic - airtight. I purchased this latest paperback for day-to-day reminders of what goes on in the seance room. Be prepared, you'll learn about the so-called "other-side."
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Format: Paperback
Read this confession before engaging any so-called psychic! The author's testimony is a rare-find in a world of tricksters, scammers and criminals who take advantage of others at every opportunity. This book reveals that the dark underworld of "psychics" and exposes certain personalities for who they really are. Psychics are never what they claim to be. Don't be conned by the next con who advertises herself as a pretty face "psychic". The only thing they're reading is the amount of cash in your wallet!

The publisher should be thanked for reprinting this out-of-print book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have always had a deep and abiding interest in all things psychic, especially Spiritualism, and purchased this book on a whim. I found this it to be absolutely fascinating (a real page turner!), deeply disturbing and very, very sad. I would recommend it as a "must read" before getting involved in any type of Spiritualistic activity; remember to keep an open mind, but forewarned is also forearmed. Be careful!
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