The nice thing about thoughts is no one else can hear them.

If they could, it’d be a lot harder to keep a job, dine with your mother-in-law or lie when your new girlfriend asks, “Am I’m prettier than your old girlfriend?”

If thoughts were audible, I suspect some folks would find themselves spending a good deal of time in their company’s HR department. And some might get frequently slapped.

We’d like to think that our thoughts remain tucked away in the quiet corners of our brains, secure under mental lock and key forever, or at least until we drain an entire box of Franzia on a Saturday afternoon and make a few blurry phone calls.

But mentalist Rory Raven has a knack for getting into people’s heads.

“I reveal information that I really shouldn’t know,” said Raven. The Rhode Island native is at the mind-bending center of the show “Rory Raven will Read your Mind” on Saturday at Lucid Stage in Portland.

If you’ve been wanting to communicate with your deceased grandfather (who left this world too soon and before he could tell anyone the combination to the safe) or regress into past lives (which you’re certain will explain your penchant for dating short red-headed men who own birds), well, Raven can’t help with that.

He can bend spoons, though. And while crooked flatware won’t solve your problems, it is immensely entertaining.

Raven doesn’t, as some might hope, commune with the dead. He’s also skeptical about those who say they do.

“I do things which appear to be psychic,” said Raven. “I’m not at all psychic. I get cranky with people who want to talk about psychic abilities.”

So how can he read your inner monologue like he’s scanning status updates straight from the Facebook wall of your mind?

“I’ve developed some unusual skills,” he said. “And I use some other normal skills in unusual ways.”

His mind-reading repository includes an understanding of psychological principles and human behavior, the power of suggestion and non-verbal communication. “I have a pretty good memory. I’m pretty good on my feet,” he added. “I size people up. I know how people tend to react in certain situations.”

He may also weave in a bit of magic. “I do have an interest in stage magic,” he said. “I’m less interested in how a card trick works in terms of the mechanics of it. I’m more interested in the psychology of it.”

Raven insists there’s nothing too dark and mysterious about what he does, although some folks simply won’t take “I’m not psychic” for an answer.

“I’m not the seventh son of a seventh son. I wasn’t hit by lightning,” he said. “No one in my family has — dare I say it — a showbiz background.”

Raven’s been honing his mind-bending prowess since he was “the guy who could do stuff” at friends’ parties. With those kinds of skills, he could easily have become “the guy who conned people for decades before being apprehended overseas and locked in a Turkish prison.”

But as it turns out, Raven’s also a nice guy. His slights of hand and mind are used for entertainment purposes only — no cons, no Ponzi schemes — though the content is intended for adults. Not that it’s naughty, he noted, but because younger minds won’t really grasp the show’s nuances.

The event, said Raven, aims to be an evening where “minds are read, spoons are bent and volunteers test their own ‘powers.’ “

That’s right — audience members will be invited to participate if they’d like, and they can do so without fear of a public shaming. “I don’t make anyone come up,” Raven said. “Anyone who does is treated very nicely.”

Raven’s nothing like that brute of a hypnotist who made your cousin strip down to his skivvies and coat himself in peanut butter in front of his entire high school. On the contrary, Raven says he has a very light approach to what he does, and attendees are sometimes surprised by his sense of humor.

“(The audience) will laugh and they’ll gasp. They’ll talk about it for the rest of their lives,” he joked.

And they’ll all be able to show their faces in town Sunday morning.

“I don’t get in and pull things out of people’s minds. It’s all voluntary,” he said. “I won’t reveal people’s horrible secrets.”

Those, thank Raven, we can keep to ourselves.

Staff Writer Shannon Bryan can be contacted at 791-6333 or at:

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