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Subject Derren Brown
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Original Message So when I initially found out about Derren Brown (popular UK illusionist/magician/debunker of the paranormal) I was very impressed. I downloaded all his programs and was amazed at his apparent level of skill with what he did. I even wrote to him and asked if he took apprentices, because the feats he performed were nothing short of amazing.

However, as time went on I couldn't help but notice that some of the acts appeared to be staged, with the people involved behaving more like actors than genuine people. By the time of "The Heist" and the awful "Hero at 30,000 Feet" it was a definite conclusion, and I could see that Derren was in fact more of an actor than an astounding magician or illusionist, and that the majority of his most amazing feats were completely faked.

I wondered why a guy would make a completely fake show like that, and then lie at the beginning of the show and say that "no actors or stooges are used in the making of this show".

Of course money is always a big motivator. But another idea that occurred to me is related to mass social conditioning, with the realization that the underlying message beneath all Derren Brown programs is the message that "all claims of psychic and paranormal ability are false and can be explained by simple tricks".

Now that would be all well and good, IF HIS TRICKS WERE GENUINE. But when you discover that the vast majority of his "feats" are completely fabricated with the help of actors (even though he explicitly states that he does not use actors), then one can help but wonder about the conspiracy side of this. The underlying message of the program is essentially based upon a lie.

I am the last person who would want Derren brown to be a fraud because I thought so highly of his skills, but I can't ignore common sense and observation.

I would like to know other peoples' impressions of Derren Brown and his programs. Do you think he is "the real deal", a fake using actors, or in some way an actor himself working for some unknown authority who wishes to discredit everything paranormal?
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