Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Atheism, Penn Jillette, Gerry and Me?

So today i had a rather enlightening facebook debate with Mr Gerry Mcambridge. You know the one, The Mentalist. The Vegas mentalist and the very same dude who created the Tv show.

So the topic of Atheism we chatted about stemmed from a video he uploaded about the bullet catch and how it is done, of course i am not going to post said video because i don't think its right. I'll leave the mystery with you folks.

Basically i thought i'd butt in and add my 2 pence worth if ya get what i'm saying.

Here is the conversation:                Key: GM- Gerry Mcambridge      LH- Me

Hopefully this looks alright enough to read...

'Penn and Teller are quite vocal when it comes to their hatred towards mentalists. They verbally bash and expose mentalists every chance they get. So reposting this video, exposing the grand finale effect in their Las Vegas show is a cyber way of saying F-U to the atheist loud mouths of magic. Please LIKE if you think Penn is a loud mouth, arrogant jerk.' - GM

'Firstly i don't want to be the guy who says no take this down as you have every right to express your opinion but... I am sure they haven't said they hate mentalists. Only the ones whose act makes them out to be something more than the average guy or "psychic". Yes Penn is a loud mouth but also actually a lovely guy. Also i don't understand why you have put " Atheist loud mouths of magic", i don't see why their belief system is so important when saying that, it seems you are using it as a bad thing to me there. When it is totally out of context.

Just my thoughts on this.
' - LH

'Luke, Penn NEVER saw me perform, yet felt the need to go on his radio show, and publicly talk about me directly and make claims about my show and expose some of my secrets. My show is as honest as the day is long, yet since I am a mentalist, I fall under his umbrella of hate.

I personally don't give a rats ass what religion a person is, who a person voted for, what a persons sexual orientation is, or what is the color of a persons skin. But Penn loves to shove his religious beliefs down people's throats, not only in every day life, but during his performance as well. Can you believe the vanity license plate on his car reads "NOGOD." Now there is a man who proudly boasts about being an Atheist!

When I attended their show many years ago, I paid to go see a magic show, not to see Penn get on his soap box and preach about there being no God.

What Penn does in private is his own business, but if Penn wore ladies cloths on stage while performing, he would be the "cross dresser of magic." So since he discusses religion openly during his act, he is the "loud mouth atheist of magic." The funniest part about the "Magic Bullet" trick is Penn and Teller weren't creative enough to think of it. The trick was the creation of a magician who sold them the rights to use the trick.

Since the magician makes his living as a professional mentalist, it means Penn and Teller hate all mentalists, UNLESS they sell them an effect to use in their Las Vegas show. Then they get a "Get Out of Jail" free card.' - GM

'I understand what you mean there calling him the Atheist of magic and he does seem to like to prostheletize and i don't see anything wrong with that to be honest. When i saw his show it wasn't a show about religion, it was a great show based on beautiful magical as well as moral ideals intertwined with what makes America great the foremost in my mind being 'Freedom Of Speech'.

I mean no disrespect to you of course but i just wanted to see another viewpoint and i thought, why don't that viewpoint be mine. :D

I don't want to say what you saw when you did go to the show as the different ideas could be interpreted in different ways. When i went my friends saw the tricks and it stopped there for them whereas for me the ideas and thought process comes more into play. Still don't think he said anything about hating Mentalists :P

I haven't listened to the show you mentioned in a while either. I might dig that one out.' - LH

'Penn has his opinions, and is quite vocal about sharing them with his internet fans, radio audience and his live audience. He has no problem bashing and exposing mentalists when ever he finds the opportunity.

I found the explanation video while surfing YouTube. It contains someones personal explanation of the bullet catch trick. I enjoy sharing my internet discoveries with my Facebook fans and friends. I do not refrain from expressing my opinion when I have one, nor do I refrain from posting them on MY Facebook page.

If you did not notice ..BLANK NAME..., we are not friends on Facebook. You subscribed to my Facebook page. I did not subscribe to yours. I do not care to earn your respect, nor do I care to keep it.

If you read my profile before you unsubscribe Eric, it says: I would rather be hated for the person I truly am, than to be liked and respected for the person I am not.' - GM

So that bit was mainly about the Bullet Catch and Mentalists.

Now this bit stemmed from the Interview of Penn Jillette on his new book by Piers Morgan.

'If you do not know anything about Penn Jillette's opinions on being an atheist, here are a few. In this video I think he calls religious nuns... monkeys!! (or did I take it out of context).

And since he says he is a huge fan of people speaking their minds, I guess he no problem with my posts showing how someone "thinks" he does his "magic bullet" trick.

Penn also says people should talk strongly about what they believe, so I am sure he has no problem with me calling him a jerk, because I strongly believe it.
I will defend to the death, anyones right to believe in what ever they want to believe in. But I do not support someones need to preach to others or call their beliefs wrong.' - GM

'Its a very good read, plenty of entertaining ideas and stories, i think you should give it a try. Saying you do not support someones need to preach to others seems a bit redundant Gerry, i have read the book and he doesn't seem to say that other peoples beliefs are wrong, he just doesn't believe in that himself. In the book he just gives alternatives to things represented within the bible in his own way.

Its just putting a spin
on ideas there. It is highly entertaining and well worth the read.' - LH

'But should a book about God be entertaining Luke? Religion and God are very personal issues. They touch people at the core of their religious beliefs. Writing a book about it to be entertaining, or to get yourself on TV to promote your Las Vegas show just doesn't sit well with me.

Why doesn't he write a book about having sex with his wife, or his bathroom habits, or his massive hemorrhoids, or how much money he made last year, or Teller's sexual preference? Because they are very personal issues to him.

But since God is not a personal issue to Penn, he finds it OK to entertain people with. He annoys and agitates (Piers Morgan's words) people to be controversial and gain attention, instead of being a little more discrete and select another topic to pontificate about.' - GM

'If you look at the book you would find that the stories and entertainment value within is based upon stories relating to his aforementioned bible alternatives. I don't think this can hurt or annoy anyone, besides if they don't like it if it did offend then just stop reading and ignore it. I don't see why he talking about his beliefs is a bad thing, if people of a religious nature can do the same.

Atheism is as much of a belief as any other philosophy or thought process in the same way as many other religions in the way that ( now this is kind of hard for me to put into words but) religious thoughts and the outcome at the end of it is a gamble as surely no one can prove for sure there is a heaven and/or hell, therefore doesn't too deserve the same. For some the option is harder to be Atheist because we don't have that backing of sorts and the same organizational structure for lack of a better term. Plus Atheists always seem to get tarred with the brush that deems them immoral just because they don't follow a religion when this is not the case or fair to people to be so generalized and put into a category.

(I don't know if that makes the greatest sense, i have been awake quite some time today :P)' - LH

'I respect your opinions Luke. And I respect your decision to be an atheist. I was born into a catholic family. I went to catholic school for 8 years. I was an alter boy and attended many church services as a kid.... and yet i am still torn when it comes to my religion.

I have diffuculty believing in organized religion. I have difficulty going to church weekly and being told to tithe 10% of my money to the church. I have diffuculty believing....

But I don't write books about it, and go on TV and preach about it, and use it to create controversy and attention. It's a personal issue that should remain personal.

Let's agree to disagree Luke. :)

If we take the word atheist out of the topic... Penn is still an loud mouth, bully ass hole.' - GM

 'Thank you sir, it was a delight to have this debate, i quite enjoyed it to be honest. There isn't much better than exchanging and discussing ideas.

And of course i will respect your right to say whatever you like. I agree to disagree of course :D .

This was indeed enlightening.
I may chat again next time. Have a good day matey.' - LH

So this was my attempt at ending all nice like and ending the small debate.

'And I bet if one of Penn's kiss ass magic buddies send him a link to this post, he will love it, because that is what Penn is all about. Getting attention and creating controversy by being loud and annoying. So this is exactly what Penn wants, people talking about Penn.' -GM

I actually really enjoyed this debate, just hopefully i made sense and made it clear that Atheists are good too. Like me.

Well i tried to get my point out and do what i could .


Of course i don't think any less or more of Gerry, he is still an ok guy.


  1. "Are you a fan of any British magicians?
    Derren Brown. We've met him, we like him and he does smart shit. As long as he keeps admitting he's just doing tricks, we'll remain massive fans of his. But he has to be careful not to make the public think he can really read minds. If you put Derren Brown up against David Blaine, there's just no contest. Derren Brown has fabulous hands, he has wonderful charisma and he can do all the moves; David Blaine can't."

  2. There we go then. I was essentially right about that then, cheers for that. Do you reckon Gerry Mcambridge still thinks of his show as doing tricks or something more then. I don't think he understood what i meant when saying they (Penn & Teller) only dislike mentalists who say they aren't just doing tricks and use it as something else. Like how a psychic or charlatan would...

    Cheers again.