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I recently learnt about a guru in India who claims to open the 'third eye' for his disciples through a training program (that costs $10,000).

Though this sounds clearly fake, I cannot decode the 'trick' that enables the children to read whatever is written. There are many videos, and some involving notable personalities as interviewers, and I believe collusion of the interviewer is out of question. However that is the only possible explanation I could muster.

Examples:

  • I would argue that this question should be closed, because it's too generic. A similar question, "Is there proof that humans can survive death," was not only closed but deleted, even though I offered a lengthy, sourced answer that no such proof was possible. – Avery Mar 16 '17 at 11:07
  • Please don't use comments to post pseudo-answers. – Oddthinking Mar 17 '17 at 0:03
  • "through blindfolds"? Do we get to see these alleged blindfolds and how they were fitted? (hint: It's not too difficult to "blindfold" somebody in such a way that they can still see down) – GordonM Mar 20 '17 at 14:32
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By the highly sophisticated supernatural trick known as "peeking".

Blindfolding is a notoriously unreliable way of blocking vision. Unless you used a semi-rigid blindfold, molded to fit the face, there will always be gaps around the nose.

This brief history of the Blindfold act shows it goes back centuries:

The Blindfold Act (or Sightless Vision, Seeing with the Fingertips, X-Ray Eyes, or whatever you want to call it) has been an integral part of magic and mentalism since 1816 when British psychic Margaret M'Avoy pretended to see colors and words with her fingertips while blindfolded. Most blindfold methods published or marketed employ either the downward peek, or allow the performer to have straight-ahead vision through the use of an opening or some sort of alternately opaque/transparent principle. Some versions use both methods.

In 2010, Nirmukta published a modern debunking of a similar fraud:

The tests started with a blindfold being tied round the girl’s eyes and a newspaper shown to her. She brought it down at such a low angle that she could read it through the gap between the blindfold and her nose!

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  • There's also been the highly public case of Bernd Fritz claiming on the Wetten das... show that he could determine the color of crayons by taste. His "trick" happened in front of a nationwide audience in the most successful Saturday TV show in all of Europe. After the incident the blackened ski masks used for blindfolding were replaced with swimming goggles with adhesive rubber seals. – DevSolar Aug 30 '18 at 9:24
  • @DevSolar -- is there some reason that you should not be able to determine the color of crayons by taste? I mean, the colors come from pigments; there isn't some rule that all pigments taste the same. But it does remind me of my favorite joke: "Q: What is blue and smells like red paint? A: Blue paint." – Malvolio Aug 30 '18 at 19:17
  • Video. THis was not "red", "blue", "green". There were about 50 crayons of rather similar shades, and he "tasted" gold ochre, lemon, mountain blue, and light carmine... (And then, of course, came out and said that he'd been cheating, so...) – DevSolar Aug 30 '18 at 19:32
  • @DevSolar -- I'm pretty sure I could not reliably distinguish "gold ochre" from "lemon" without a blindfold, in good light. – Malvolio Aug 31 '18 at 1:05
  • If in doubt, there is always the color number imprinted on the crayon... ;-) – DevSolar Sep 5 '18 at 13:51

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