Psychic Wars; The Good, The Bad and the Frauds

JoJo’s Psychic Alliance just called, they said they want their Frauds back.  What is with people these days?  Are we so far gone as an intellectual society that we can’t see through the twaddle of self-proclaimed and entirely incredible psychics?

Why do we give authority to people who declare their gifts without a single shred of evidence to back it up?  It might be one thing to make claims about ones ability to see spirits, or the future (though I have specific issue with that one), or to glean details about someone else’s life through “psychic channels”, but it’s completely another to actively seek out people to sell this “information” to.  There is a fine line of a difference that I want to delineate, but first, I should outline the focus of my rage at the moment.

I’ll start this off by saying, clearly and certainly; I believe in psychics.  Or rather, I believe in psychic abilities, but (and this is the biggest and most relevant but ever) I DO NOT believe the vast majority of people who claim they are psychic.  This not necessarily a case of a sceptic wanting evidence of ESP or clairvoyance or medium-ship, while I would revel at the opportunity to examine such evidence, I do recognize that such evidence is completely intangible, it is actually a case of a reasonably intelligent person who’s sick to death of metaphysical frauds taking advantage of good people in need of real solutions and advice.

So what is a psychic and how do these people get into a position of taking advantage?  For the purpose of this article, I really don’t care what the textbook definition of a psychic is, and I’m betting neither do you.  For my purpose, a psychic is anyone who claims they are one; it’s anyone who claims they can see the dead (or any variation thereof), it’s anyone who claims they can read minds, or see the future, it’s anyone who claims they can do any of the fantastic things the psychics of history and Hollywood can do.

Some call it a gift, some call it a curse, and others ignore it, hoping it will all just go away.  Having met my share of both genuine and fake psychics, I must admit that sometimes it gets a little tough to tell the difference.  For the genuine psychic, the issue of credibility and/or proof, is one that sorts itself out, for the other kind, it’s one that lingers in the air like the punch line of a bad joke.  I would bet that for the majority of “commercial” psychics, getting to where they are was a rather innocent and even accidental endeavour.  I’d even double that bet to say that the vast majority of “commercial” psychics started their career out of a desire to help, and even a good portion may believe they still do help.  But somewhere along the line, for more of these charlatans than I’m comfortable with, there came a choice, a choice to turn away and remain both impartial and innocent, or to draw the curtain across and move over to the dark side, where integrity, honesty and that caring attitude go right out the window.

Before I get too far into this and forget to pardon those who don’t deserve this lashing, I want to say that those who practise the craft of the psychic for honest and, shall we say…wholesome reasons, are fairly easy to identify.  In so much as we tend to not understand how they do what they do, we can see and understand they way that they deliver it to us.  The psychics table is no place for sensationalism, it’s no place for ego, and it’s no place for greed.  Those who operate with any combination of those three elements are, in my books, a fraud.

I’m certainly not saying that these commercial psychics shouldn’t be paid for their wares, but if they are true in their purpose, the money will not be their focus.

But I digress, this article is about those shameless bastards who call themselves psychic, and in the name of capitalism, endeavour to take the hard earned money of the people who come to them for help.  A few names come to mind, and how I would love to include them, in bold font with underlining and highlight to make sure they stand out, but I don’t want to marginalise the pain and suffering they ultimately cause to those who’ve bought their lies.

It should be said that the charlatans in question aren’t always the travelling carnival psychics, pitching a tent and waving their hand over a crystal ball (though I don’t exclude them either), no these frauds can, and usually are the one’s with the flashy websites, the hotlines, the printed testimonials.  I mean come on, testimonials like you’re selling some ACME product on late night TV? I’ve even seen one who offered financing!  You could almost say there’s a sliding scale to it, those who charge more, are less likely to be real.

It never ceases to amaze me the lengths these cretins will go to, to make a sale.  Email readings, long distance phone readings, MSN Chat readings.  Now, I’m not going to sit here and proclaim my expertise over the form and function of the psychic gift, some psychics may be able to use their gifts in this way, though when I see one such fraud booking back-to-back psychic readings via Facebook and Twitter, with no more than a flippant hello and away we go, I have to question their legitimacy, and so should everyone else.

I have a simple test that I’d like anyone and everyone to perform, who finds themselves in the company of a psychic for hire.  Simply ask them what colour your socks are (whether you’re wearing any or not, but providing they can’t simply look down for the answer).  You’ll get one of three basic answers.

1)   The wrong answer, in which case I recommend turning around and leaving before any money exchanges hands.

2)   The right answer, which really proves nothing, but at least you’ve let them know that you’re not sleep walking.

3)   They’ll tell you they have no idea and that their particular gift doesn’t work that way, which should lead into an honest discussion of how it does work, and ultimately should prove to you that they have your best interests at heart, or at the very least that they know enough not to get caught before the money’s on the table.

Remember that this psychic reading is supposed to be their gift, so avoid giving any information about yourself before the reading.  Make them work for it, and trust me, those who are real will not only live up to that standard, but they will appreciate your giving them the benefit of the doubt.

In closing, I’ll do something I very rarely do…and that’s beg; I want to beg you, all of you to open your eyes and see what’s going on in front of you.  Stop staring off into space, looking to the magic, or God, or whatever to give you the answers you need in life, just trust in yourself and use a little critical thinking, and eventually you’ll get where you want to be.

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