Six Questions for Kreskin

Now in his sixth decade as an entertainer, the Amazing Kreskin awaits the March release of a major motion picture based on his career as a mentalist and hypnotist. The Great Buck Howard stars John Malkovich as the Kreskin-like character, along with Tom Hanks and his son Colin.

Kreskin, 74 and a Montclair resident, continues to amaze even himself with his auguries, including his prediction in December 2007 that Barack Obama would be elected president.

Have you ever thought about using your powers for evil?

It’s funny you should ask that question at this time. Not long ago, I probably would have answered differently. But 60 Minutes did a piece on mind reading and they focused on a facility in Berlin, Germany, where researchers are developing a machine to read minds. The last thing we have left in our society is our private thoughts. I read minds, but I also have morals. A machine has no morals. I live in fear of our privacy being taken away.

What were your best and worst moments as a mentalist?

Actually they were one and the same! I read a lady’s mind at a show in Indianapolis about 25 years ago. I’ll never forget it. It was at a nightclub called the Embers. She was contemplating suicide, so I didn’t say a word to the audience. But after the show, we spoke and she admitted it. Twenty years later, I was doing a show in Morristown, and the same lady was in the audience. We spoke and it was something I’ll never forget.

Do you think people are gullible?

I think that one thing is true: When society finds itself under extreme pressure, people have a tendency to get wrapped up in the bizarre. I predict that there will be more UFO sightings this year than there have been for a long, long time.

Is illusionist Criss Angel the real deal?

I wish him all the best in his career, but when we watch magicians and illusionists on TV, we are watching entertainers. Illusions are not really taking place. They use trick photography, stooges from the audience, and editing techniques to do these shows. Just look at what happened in Vegas at the live show. The truth is, I haven’t seen a truly gifted magician come out into the public eye for a some time now.

Can you tell us what’s coming next with regard to our current economic situation?

I predict that society will redirect itself toward the home as the centerpiece of American life. 

Do you have any advice for us?

Yes. Sock away two years’ worth of salary. Don’t put it in a bank. Put it in a mattress or a drawer. This recession will last for four-and-a-half more years. While you may not earn any interest on that cash you keep at home, at least you won’t lose it.

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