Sunday, 20 April 2008

Did Psychics Forsee This?

I was fortunate to find myself in the company of the famous magician and paranormal sceptic James Randi one afternoon. The Canadian is so certain that anyone who professes psychic or paranormal powers is a charlatan, that he offers a prize of one million dollars to anyone who can demonstrate a supernatural ability under scientific conditions.
As yet nobody has managed to progress past the preliminary test which is agreed upon by the applicant.
I have spoken with a few mediums and psychics and not one has been able to tell me my Grandfathers middle name despite them professing to be talking to him at the time.
As things stand, anybody can set themselves up as a psychic or spiritual healer but, and they really should of seen this one coming, the EU is cracking down on psychics under the new Consumer Protection Act.
Promises of riches, where Uncle Albert hid the family gold or healing through the laying on of hands are all at risk of legal action from disgruntled customers not happy with the service they have received and Spiritualists are arguing that they will be forced to issue disclaimers stating that the results cannot be guaranteed.
With the psychic industry a multi-million pound venture in Britain, anyone charging or accepting cash in exchange for the service will be bound by the new regulations. Mediums currently charge for seances, Tarot, psychic readings and clairvoyance with another tidy sum being generated by Psychic telephone services, online and TV channels.
The Spiritualist Workers Association's website is warning that 'The changes in the legislation are a minefield. We have to fight it.'
Of course they do because when this new law comes into effect in May, you don't need to be fortune teller to see that the cheery little scam the psychics, healers and clairvoyants have been running for decades will be brought to a screeching halt.
Of course if any psychics out there can conjure up my Grandfathers middle name i will happily retract that last sentence and will drop James Randi an email.

15 comments:

Cody Bones said...

The important question is this. "How far do we as a society want to go in defending the stupid from themselves"?

Anonymous said...

Lucy,

I'm seeing a name... its.... no.... its... ....... no....... its....... ... ... ... ..it starts with X.. no... I GOT IT!!! Very tricky. Your grandfather doesn't have a middle name.

Q

David G said...

Hopefully this step will then lead to the next even more important one: that of stopping religious charlatans from continuing their fraud upon gullible people.

They too should be forced to be accountable for the blatant lies they tell and the deceit they practice!

Cheers.

Noah "Nog" M. said...

David,
You'd be surprised how many self-proclaimed "atheists" buy into that sort of stuff. How could a Christian or a Muslim or a Jew think anything but hogwash of these King Tut's Tomb Curse things? How could any American worry about ghosts in "Indian Burial Grounds"? Why does some Mayan calendar end of the world matter if you're not a Mayan pagan?

About 95% of this stuff is contingent on pagan belief that the "believer" or "worrier" would never directly accede to.

The funny thing about religion is that folks who say they are "religious" are often more atheist than they'd admit and often folks who claim to be "atheists" give to much reverence to gods that they "don't believe in".

More generally,
Here in the States we have a sort of tradition against the admissibility of "spectral evidence" in our courts. The Salem Witch Trials didn't go over too well.

Because of this they can't really ever charge psychics with fraud in failure to contact the dead and they couldn't charge me with using a Darth Vader Force Choke on someone. But, funny enough, there are so many laws that they just find 20 ones that the "psychic" did break. There was a case years ago where they nailed some tele-psychic for overbilling over her phone service.

Lucy said...

Great line Cody, i wish i had used that somewhere in my post. Now if i can just find out how to delete your comment and edit my post...

Bang goes your million pounds Q.

You have a point about religions stating things as fact David (unsure if spiritualism is a proper bona fide religion) but i would next hit on the TV evangelists which is another money making venture rather than organised religion which generally passes around a plate and holds fetes to raise money.

Anonymous said...

Lucy,

I knew you gonna say something like that. You see, he told me he didn't really have a middle name, but nobody knew, so he just told people he had one.

I asked him what name he used, but that was when I lost the connection... spirits are like that sometimes.

Q

effay said...

Hey, sorry this doesn't relate to your post, but I really want to know how you made that Recent Comments feed. Let me know if you could. Thanks.

Lucy said...

effay - All the credit goes to iMuslim, her link is in my Bloggers i like links.

Q - That million pounds is not getting any closer to your bank account. His middle name was unusual so that's why i asked the mediums because if they did get it i would of fallen off my chair and probably joined a cult. Not that one in Texas though, those dresses were horrid.

Cody Bones said...

Not only the dresses Lucy, but I don't exactly see you abiding by the other rules for the women. I especially like the first rule which is to "Keep Sweet". I'm thinking that might be an issue for you. On the other hand, you could look at it like a quit smoking and drinking camp. A polygamist rehab, if you will.

Anonymous said...

Lucy,

But how about the hairdos and the uni-brows?

Those people are doing the best they can, even if they are messed up. There are messed up people in lots of places. West Texas is sparsely populated, and it is also a place where people live and let live.

Those 2 factors attract some unusual people, in addition to some really good, Earthy, humble folks.

I don't really consider the situtation to be my business. I do believe that we are responsible for protecting those that cannot protect themselves - children, elderly, ill, the French (sorry, I couldn't resist the opportunity).

I don't see how more than a few of the children can come out of this setting without major problems.

Though I wonder why we take them from their parents when we won't take children from parents that live on welfare their whole lives, abuse drugs, prostitute for a living, etc.

Q

ZenYenta said...

Psychics will survive changes in law because people want to believe. Back when they were "fortune tellers" there were many localities that outlawed them in the US. I'm not sure what the current statutes generally are but there are psychics who offer tarot and other types of readings set up all over the place. They might have to issue some type of disclaimer. The Psychic Hotlines had something in the commercials I saw that said it was for entertainment purposes only. Doesn't matter. If people want to believe a thing, then they're going to keep on believing it, regardless of disclaimers.

Lucy said...

Cody, you saying i'm not sweet?

Q - I did write a post about the Texas cult and the Russian cult as they ended about the same time and the Texan women all came out with perfect hair and all little house on the prarie and the Russians came out looking like, well, like they had spent 2 months living in a cave.
As sometimes happens, Mythbusters came on TV so i never finished it and the moment passed.

I agree Zenyenta and the disclaimers and just for entertainment is the way things seem to be heading here but i do think Cody's sentence in the first comment sums it up perfectly.

Jodie Kash said...

I KNEW you were gonna post this ;)

Cody Bones said...

Lucy, you are one of the sweetest bloggers I know, but I don't know if you can "keep sweet" while wearing a frontier dress, and being married to a sloped forehead polygamist. The mental picture, complete with cigarette is amusing though.

Lucy said...

A classy cigarette though cody, like Audrey Hepburn in that Breakfast at Tiffanys poster.