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Monday, June 2, 2014

Psychic mediums

It's surprising the government doesn't shut down psychic mediums. Why are they allowed to prey on the gullible and weak?

The government has many laws against fraud. The FDA has stringent standards for new drugs; dishonest stockbrokers are barred from the securities industry; dishonest lawyers are disbarred; and medical doctors can lose their licenses.

Police departments used to have "bunco squads," which were in charge of investigating confidence swindles. Certainly, what psychics peddle is a load of bunk.

If you Google "psychic mediums in Connecticut," the names of 48 practitioners appear. All advertise openly, evidently without fear of prosecution.

For all but the terminally naive, their con is obvious. Let's say a middle-aged woman walks in (most customers are women). The medium looks at her and says, "I sense trouble with a man."

The woman nods sadly and says, "I'm in a difficult marriage." The psychic replies, "Ah, you have arguments with him….which sometimes get heated." (Another great leap of faith.)

The gullible woman nods more eagerly, and thinks to herself, finally, someone who understands me.

The psychic says, "Your husband, he is attracted to other women?" (In other words, is he human?) The woman thinks, wow, she understands my husband too!

Then the psychic might say, knowingly, "There is a loved one you miss." This could mean a lost family member, but could also apply to a long lost romantic love. And "miss," of course, could merely describe your feelings about a child who's gone to college. The gullible will immediately think of whomever they miss most.

Psychics who claim to communicate with the dead are the lowest of the low. One ad for a psychic in Connecticut said:

As we sit together in sacred space, departed loved ones and Spirit Guides are invited to communicate with you through me. This is done with the intention of healing and providing evidence of life after death.

Does the inclusion of the phrase "evidence of life after death" give them a "freedom of religion" out to their scam? After all, our Constitution does provide for freedom of worship.

And does saying "done with the intention of healing" shift intent -- in a legal sense -- to "healing," so that the psychics can claim to be psychotherapists?

Also, note that the ad does not claim that the dead actually communicate: it says that "departed loved ones….are invited to communicate." An invitation is not quite the same as an actual acceptance of that invitation. Thus, no fraudulent advertising.

One senses a lawyer's hand in the construction of that ad.

Most psychics would have to be sociopaths in order to pull such a scam; and, of course, it's sociopaths who feel most comfortable preying on the weak and gullible in the first place.

The real question: how big an idiot must one be to consult a psychic?

It's one thing for a young couple who've had a few drinks and to see a sign for a palm reader and pay $20 to have their fortunes told, just for giggles. But to really believe in this stuff, one must be weak-minded.

My guess is that the average type of person willing to pay a psychic partly just wants to be center of attention; she probably feels neglected, since others have most likely been conditioned to avoid her daily idiocy.

The psychics themselves will all burn in hell -- if there is such a place. Personally, I don't believe in hell, but those who go to mediums undoubtedly do. If they eventually wise up and feel burned by their psychics, they can at least take consolation that the psychics themselves will eventually be experiencing that same feeling, on a more epic scale.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

As I started reading this article, I wondered how long it would take for the word "sociopath" to come up. There's a good, short YouTube video of Richard Dawkins talking to a 'psychic'. The bit where he trips up and forgets that he said "family member" is funny. When corrected, he just shrugs it off like any sociopath would: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QfF20bkMhg8

- Gethin

John Craig said...

Gethin --
Am I that predictable? I think -- and I'm sure you'd agree -- that it would be hard for a non-sociopath to work in this field.

Just watched the video. You called it perfectly with this psychic. I think many sociopaths' stock in trade is that they just brush off their mistakes as if they were unimportant. Normal people are so used to seeing some form of sheepishness or embarrassment after something like that that if they don't see it, they tend to just dismiss it themselves. So for a sociopath to just unembarrassedly brush off a false claim and move on to the next topic is a clever tactic.

I'm a big Dawkins fan, btw. First read "The Selfish Gene" for a college course (on sociobiology, the only one which ever set me on fire) back in '76-'77. Good to see he's still going strong.

Anonymous said...

I don't see them as being any different from the charlatans that sell tickets to heaven. Or, who convert the heathen... to cash.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Good point.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you like Richard Dawkins. It seems he's currently in trouble for upsetting feminists by saying that some rapes are worse than others: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/brendanoneill2/100281935/dawkins-is-right-some-crimes-are-worse-than-others/

- Gethin

John Craig said...

Gethin --
Just read the article. He's right, of course. That brouhaha is a perfect illustration of how simple-minded the doctrinaire feminists are these days.

Anonymous said...

That sort of moonbattery is exactly why I've turned anti-feminist. Don't get me wrong - I totally think women deserve equal rights, but would still never call myself a feminist or feminist ally. Feminism isn't about equal rights anymore - it's an excuse to whine and claim victimhood. The "women earn 77c for every $ a man earns" myth has been demolished by Christina Hoff Sommers, who said that that's only because more women work part-time and in less stressful jobs.

Many women are now distancing themselves from feminism. Only one woman I've surveyed IRL actively identifies as feminist - the rest claim they don't need it "because we already have equal rights". There's currently a #womenagainstfeminism hashtag trending on Twitter, which was reported in mainstream media. Women are holding up signs saying things like "I'm not a feminist because I don't like being told I'm a victim when I enjoy my life". Hallelujah! Finally, women and men are seeing feminism for what it really is!

If you want to read something really disturbing that will definitely make you anti-feminist, see this: http://witchwind.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/piv-is-always-rape-ok/

- Gethin

John Craig said...

Gethin --
Your summation of feminism is exactly on target. So many of them focus on silly stuff like saying all intercourse is rape -- as in that piece you sent -- or trying to promulgate the unequal pay myth. And why so much focus on men who look at them th wrong way, when women in the Third World have their clits cut off, aren't allowed to go to school, can only go out in public with their faces covered, and aren't allowed to drive cars? Why not focus on real justices like that instead? I guess because they know that in the West they can say whatever they want without fear of repercussion.

Good to know that organizations like the one you describe are popping up.

Anonymous said...

My guess would be because the type of woman who becomes a radical feminist is a narcissist. I'm fortunate enough not to have met any IRL, but the ones I've seen online seem persistently angry. I'm guessing they're angry because they haven't been treated in the superior way that all narcissists believe they should be and, with a classic stroke of narcissistic non-insight, externalise their problem by blaming it on their sex. They hold contempt for women who don't think the way they do. According to the feminists, happy women are "brainwashed by the patriarchy" because they're unable to realise how oppressed they are. Of course, what it really is is anger that happy women disprove their theory that their unhappiness is because of "sexist oppression".

I think narcissism would explain why they do literally nothing to help women living under the conditions you described. All they care about is their own kind of white, middle-class, educated woman. And they despise Christina Hoff Sommers, Erin Pizzey and other women who've written about women's rights in a more factual way. Although Sommers et al. clearly support women's rights, they're labelled "misogyists" by these crazy feminists. This further reinforces my narcissism theory as narcissists take criticism very poorly, tending to react with rage and ad hominem attacks instead of rational analysis.

- Gethin

John Craig said...

Gethin --
Once again, we completely agree:

http://justnotsaid.blogspot.com/2014/04/political-movements-as-personality.html